Monday, February 9, 2009

Nissan CEO announces plans to cut 20,000 jobs

WKRN Channel 2 News An announcement from a major automaker could affect workers in Tennessee. Nissan has announced plans to cut 20,000 jobs due to the economy, which equals about 8.5% of its global workforce. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn announced the plan in Japan. "Today, the head count is 235,000. At the end of fiscal year 2009, which is March 2010, we will streamline our head count to no more than 215,000 which is a reduction of 20,000 compared to today," he said. The announcement comes as the company reports that it is expecting a loss at nearly $3 billion loss for its fiscal year, which ends in March. Ghosn said the industry is in turmoil and "Nissan is not an exception." "Revenue falls quickly and significantly creates a situation that is at the same time unsustainable and potentially very dangerous," he said. The company did not release specifics, but any North American job cuts would certainly be felt in Middle Tennessee. Japan's third largest automaker, Nissan moved its North American headquarters to Franklin in 2006. Two of Nissan's three North American manufacturing facilities are in Tennessee. The company has an assembly plant in Smyrna that employs about 6,000 people. Nissan also has an engine plant in Decherd, Franklin County and operates an assembly plant out of Tennessee, just north of Jackson, Mississippi. Analysts say the company may be well-positioned to sustain these kinds of losses. "They have cushion and a part-time or temporary worker and gives them flexibility which they can cut the part-time workers without having to cut into their full-time staff so that allows them to save on the big job cuts that you would see in western countries," said explained Hans Greimel, an expert in the automotive world.

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