Nissan scales back US sales operations to regain footing
Nissan Motor Co. will scale back its U.S. sales operations, shuttering two regional offices and offering buyouts to some of its staff as the Japanese carmaker seeks to regain its footing after a year of management turmoil and weaker demand in key markets.
The manufacturer will streamline its Northwest and Mountain states regional sales offices to six other locations by July 1, but didn’t say how many staff would be impacted by the change or when those sites would cease to operate.
Nissan, in disarray since former Chairman Carlos Ghosn was arrested in November 2018 on charges of financial misconduct, unveiled a restructuring plan in July to cut 12,500 jobs globally. The latest cuts are separate from that plan, the company said. In that time, Nissan replaced the chief executive officer who succeeded Ghosn and then appointed Makoto Uchida to turn the business around, with profits at a decade-low and relations tense with French partner Renault SA.
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“To adapt to current business needs and improve efficiencies, Nissan will offer voluntary separation packages to eligible U.S.-based employees," the automaker said in an emailed statement. “The company also is streamlining its regional sales operations to better support dealers and our customers."
Nissan said it will offer “voluntary separation" to both salaried and hourly employees 52 or older in the U.S. The company didn’t specify which business units would be impacted or the level of financial incentives being offered. Nissan does not have a target number of employees to take voluntary redundancy, and those eligible will be notified by Jan. 31. Nissan currently has 20,000 employees across all U.S. operations.
Nissan sold 1,345,681 cars in the U.S across its core and Infiniti brands in 2019, down 10% from the previous year. The luxury Infiniti brand saw its sales decline by more than a third last year.
Nissan is also said it will follow the lead of other automakers in the U.S. such as General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. in shifting from monthly to quarterly sales reports. The company said the reporting change, effective as of this month, will present a clearer picture of sales performance over a longer period.