Nissan aims to cut 1,500 jobs through early retirement program

Published 6:39 pm Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Nissan aims to cut 1,500 jobs through early retirement program

TOKYO (AP) — Nissan Motor Co. said Tuesday it aims to cut 1,500 jobs through an early retirement program in a move aimed at shoring up sagging earnings.

The offer will be extended to some 12,000 employees in Japan and the impact on earnings will be announced Thursday, company spokesman Simon Sproule said.

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The program follows a similar retirement program in the United States earlier this year that had targeted 300 job cuts but ended with about 775 workers accepting.

Nissan has two plants in Tennessee — an assembly plant in Smyrna and an engine plant in Decherd. It also operates an assembly plant in Canton, Miss.

“It is one of the measures we have taken recently to help boost performance,” Sproule said. “It’s about making sure structurally we’re right sized.”

Japan’s third-biggest automaker slashed its profit forecast 12 percent for the fiscal year through March after seeing a 22 percent drop in earnings in the October-December quarter.

The backtracking forced President Carlos Ghosn, once credited for saving Nissan from bankruptcy, to declare his company in a “performance crisis.”

In another blow, Nissan said earlier this year it may miss its target of selling 4.2 million vehicles globally in the fiscal year ending March 2009 as part of a three-year revival plan.

Tokyo-based Nissan will accept applications for early retirement between June 1 and March 2008 from full-time employees over 45 years of age with at least five years of service. A statement said it was designed to “balance staffing levels with assembly requirements.”