Domestic Big Three-style buyouts at a Japanese ‘transplant’ facility in North America?

It’s true. According to Reuters, Nissan North America said on Tuesday it would offer hourly production and maintenance workers at two plants in Smyrna and Decherd, Tennessee, buyouts that include a $US45,000 lump sum payment. The programme will also include $500 for each year of service.

“Higher demand for passenger cars, such as the Altima sedan and soon-to-be-released Altima Coupe, combined with lower demand for trucks and SUVs results in a manufacturing mix that is less labour-intensive to build and that requires fewer assembly workers,” Nissan said in a statement cited by the news agency.

Dan Gaudette, Nissan senior vice president of manufacturing and supply chain management, told Reuters he expects about 300 workers to accept the buyout offers.

Nissan employs 5,200 hourly employees at its assembly plant in Smyrna and 1,000 hourly workers at its powertrain assembly plant in Decherd, the report added.

The voluntary programme gives workers until 13 March to decide whether they want to accept, and up to 30 June to retire or resign, Reuters said.