Business / Corporate

Nissan considering more than 20,000 job cuts as virus hits sales

Kyodo, Bloomberg

Nissan Motor Co. is looking to cut over 20,000 jobs or about 15 percent of its global workforce as part of its restructuring plan due to slumping sales hit by the new coronavirus outbreak, sources close to the matter said Friday.

Japan's third-largest automaker by volume is considering labor reduction in Europe and some emerging countries, the sources said.

The global spread of the novel coronavirus has led to the suspension of Nissan's domestic and overseas plants, pressuring its sales in major markets such as North America and Europe.

Nissan said in July that it would cut 12,500 jobs at 14 production bases globally by March 2023 as part of restructuring.

But its deepening business slump amid the pandemic has pushed it to work on additional reform measures including closing plants in Spain as well as Indonesia and some other emerging markets.

Nissan has been in turmoil since the November 2018 arrest of former Chairman Carlos Ghosn, with an aging car lineup and management paralysis denting its outlook. The automaker warned last month it expects to post a loss for the latest fiscal year through March, as the pandemic shuttered dealerships in major markets and the economic fallout hurt consumer demand for new cars.

Nissan plans to cut about ¥300 billion ($2.8 billion) in annual fixed costs and book restructuring charges as the pandemic further depresses the carmaker’s sales, another source with knowledge of the measures said last week.

The Yokohama-based company will phase out the Datsun brand, shut down one production line in addition to the recently closed operation in Indonesia and reach the reduced spending target this year by cutting marketing, research and other costs, the source said.

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