Nissan is set to cut almost one in 10 jobs from its global workforce as it looks to slim down its model ranges and focus on future technology.
The news, reported first in Japan, indicates that around nine per cent of Nissan’s global staff will be made redundant on the way to reducing production capacity by 10 per cent – lowering the number of models it offers by the same amount.
It’s unclear which plants in which countries will be affected, but the EU’s recent trade agreement with Japan, removing tariffs on cars imported to Europe from the Oriental nation, is believed to provide a major argument against Japanese car makers maintaining factories on this continent. Honda has already confirmed it will abandon its English and Turkish plants.
Nissan has a factory in the UK, two in Spain, and one in France which is owned by Renault but also makes the Micra. The UK’s exit from the European Union, which suddenly looks like it might actually happen after all, could be a further worrying factor for the 7000 Sunderland staff.
The brand also has five plants in North America, four in Mexico and 21 either wholly owned or shared across Asia. Initial reports are said to put most of the job losses outside of Japan, most likely in those areas where sales are struggling or in factories that make less popular models.
Nissan has seen big falls in profits as it spends big on developing electric cars at the same time as global sales are slipping. Its net annual profits for the 2018/19 financial year were £2.37bn, down five per cent on the previous 12 months and the lowest since 2009/10, when the markets were decimated by the global financial crash.
To try to get back to the front of the game Nissan is working on expanding and improving its ProPilot driver assistance systems alongside developing new battery-driven and plug-in hybrid cars.