Nissan cuts US sales efforts to regain its footing

(Bloomberg) – Nissan Motor Co. will reduce its US sales activities, close two regional offices and offer buyouts to some employees as the Japanese automaker plans to regain its footing after a year of management turmoil and weaker demand in key markets.

The manufacturer will streamline its regional sales offices for the northwest and mountain states to six additional locations by July 1. However, he did not specify how many employees would be affected by the change or when these locations would cease operating.

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A 2019 Nissan Motor Co. Rogue Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) is parked in a car dealership in Joliet, Illinois, USA on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. Car sales in the United States probably went a big step back in September, creating the conditions for high incentive spending from automakers struggling to remove old models from dealers’ inventory.

Nissan has been upset since former chairman Carlos Ghosn was arrested for financial misconduct in November 2018. In July, he presented a restructuring plan that would cut 12,500 jobs worldwide. The latest cuts are separate from this plan, the company said. During this time, Nissan replaced the chief executive officer, who became Ghosn’s successor, and appointed Makoto Uchida to turn the business over with profits over a decade low and strained relationships with French partner Renault SA.

“To adapt to current business requirements and improve efficiency, Nissan will offer eligible employees in the United States voluntary separation packages,” the automaker said in an email. “The company is also streamlining its regional sales efforts to better support dealers and our customers.”

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Nissan announced that it will offer “voluntary separation” to both employees and workers in the United States who are 52 years and older. Nissan has no set number of employees who can be dismissed voluntarily, and eligible employees will be notified by January 31. Nissan currently has 20,000 employees in all of its US offices.

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Nissan sold 1,345,681 cars across its core and Infiniti brands in the U.S. in 2019, a 10% decrease from the previous year. The luxury brand Infiniti recorded a decline in sales of more than a third last year.

Nissan is also expected to lead other US automakers, such as General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co., in moving from monthly to quarterly sales reports. The company announced that the change in reporting effective this month will provide a clearer picture of sales development over a longer period of time.

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