Nissan to cut 12,500 jobs worldwide

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49109307

Nissan manufacturing plantImage copyright
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The Sunderland plant opened in 1986

Japanese car giant Nissan has announced 12,500 job cuts as it attempts to shore up its finances after recent troubles.

It will reduce its production capacity and the number of models it produces by 10% by the end of 2022, but it did not say where the cuts will fall.

The firm also announced a 94.5% fall in net income for the first quarter of 2019.

This is one of the one of the carmaker’s worst quarterly performances in a decade.

Union sources are hopeful that Nissan’s Sunderland car plant will escape the effects of the cuts.

These include 4,800 job losses previously announced in May.

Nissan continues to struggle in the US, a key market, where it has been heavily discounting to keep up with sales by rivals.

It reported first-quarter sales falls in Europe, Asia and Oceania, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.

The carmaker is reining in its operations after years of expansion under former chairman Carlos Ghosn, who was ousted last year after being accused of financial crimes.

In a news conference, Nissan boss Hiroto Saikawa said the job cuts would account for a “big portion” of the savings it was trying to make.

He said the firm has already started cutting production at eight sites worldwide, and expects to have culled 6,400 jobs by the end of March 2020.

He did not specify which models would be targeted for production cuts, but said they would be likely to affect “compact cars and its Datsun range”.

The cuts will fall on unprofitable products, Mr Saikawa added.

Nissan’s Sunderland plant makes profitable lines and also makes the Leaf electric car. Part of the firm’s broader strategy is a focus on electric vehicles.

However, jobs at the factory are also endangered by Brexit uncertainty that is causing foreign-owned firms to question their investments in the UK.


Analysis

Theo Leggett, international business correspondent

Battered by scandal, and struggling to curb falling sales, Nissan is taking dramatic steps.

It now plans to cut 12,500 jobs worldwide and close or reduce capacity at up to 14 factories as it tries to reduce excess capacity and cut costs.

In the three months to the end of June, the company made an operating profit of just £12m ($14m), compared with more than £800m ($1bn) in the same period last year – a decline of 98%.

Sales in the US, one of its biggest markets, have declined sharply, while there have also been concerns in Europe.

Last year, the company’s former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, was dismissed, following his arrest in Japan on charges of financial misconduct.

He denies the charges and has blamed a conspiracy among Nissan executives for his downfall.


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