Nissan Motor is considering cutting 20,000 jobs from its global workforce, focusing on Europe and developing countries, as it struggles to recover from plunging car sales, Kyodo News reported on Friday.
Reuters said the possible cuts come as Nissan prepares to announce its updated mid-term strategy next week.
Profits at the automaker have been floundering for the past three years and the coronavirus pandemic has only piled on urgency and pressure to renew efforts to down size and turn around the company.
Nissan declined to comment to Reuters on the Kyodo report.
The automaker had said in July last year it would cut 12,500 employees, nearly 10% of its of 140,000 strong workforce.
If Nissan raised that to the higher figure, it would rival the 20,000 jobs it shed during the global financial crisis in 2009.
Even before the spread of the coronavirus, Nissan’s sales and profits had been slumping and it was burning through cash, forcing it to curtail an aggressive expansion plan pursued by ousted leader Carlos Ghosn, Reuters noted.
It will focus on strengthening cooperation with alliance partners Renault and Mitsubishi Motors to make better use of the regional and technological strengths of all three car makers, and consolidate production capabilities.
France’s finance minister on Friday (22 May) said Renault’s future was at stake if it did not get help very soon while Mitsubishi earlier this week reported an 89% drop in annual profit for the fiscal year ended 31 March.
Reuters has reported that Nissan’s management had become convinced it needs to be much smaller and would likely cut 1m cars from its annual sales target, while seeing a bigger role for the United States and China in car sales.
Nissan also plans to scale back its European business and turn its focus to SUVs and commercial vehicles, Reuters has reported previously.
See also: Infiniti braced for Nissan Motor cuts