Nissan considers huge job cuts, some in Europe

Nissan Motor plans to cut up to 20,000 jobs from its global workforce, focusing on Europe and developing countries, Kyodo news reported on Friday. The Japanese automaker is seriously struggling to recover from plunging car sales. The possible cuts come as Nissan prepares to announce its updated mid-term strategy next week.

The automaker said in July last year it would cut 12,500 employees, nearly 10% of its 140,000-strong workforce. If Nissan raises that to the higher figure, it would rival the 20,000 jobs it shed during the global financial crisis in 2009. Even before the spread of the coronavirus, Nissan’s sales and profits had been slumping and it was burning through cash, forcing it to curtail an aggressive expansion plan pursued by ousted leader Carlos Ghosn.

As a result, it will focus on strengthening cooperation with France’s Renault and Mitsubishi Motors to make better use of the regional and technological strengths of all three car makers, and consolidate production capabilities. Nissan’s profits have been floundering for the past three years, and the coronavirus pandemic has only piled on urgency and pressure to renew efforts to down size and turnaround the company.

Reuters has reported that Nissan’s management has become convinced it needs to be much smaller and will likely cut 1 million cars from its annual sales target, while seeing a bigger role for the United States and China in car sales. Nissan also plans to scale back its European business and turn its focus to SUVs and commercial vehicles, Reuters has reported.

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