Nissan workers braced for job cuts

Nissan manufacturing plantImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Sunderland plant opened in 1986

Nissan workers around the world are braced for the Japanese car giant to announce thousands of job cuts as it attempts to shore up its image and its finances after recent troubles.

According to media reports, the firm will announce more than 10,000 job losses on Thursday amid weakening sales at the company.

In the UK, union sources said they hoped the cuts would not affect workers at Nissan’s Sunderland plant.

Nissan declined to comment.

The firm is also expected to announce an around-90% fall in profits for the first quarter of 2019, which would represent one of the one of the carmaker’s worst quarterly performances in a decade.

The job cuts are expected to be implemented over several years and would include 4,800 already announced in May, according to the Reuters news agency.

The carmaker is reining in its operations after years of expansion under former chairman Carlos Ghosn, who was ousted last year after being accused of financial crimes.

It is trying to improve weak profit margins in the US, which is a key market, after years of discounting to boost sales.

“Deteriorating performance in the US is a big issue that we’re facing,” Motoo Nagai, chairman of Nissan’s audit committee, said on Wednesday.

“For a long time we were concerned with increasing volume [of sales]. We were chasing numbers. Now it’s time to enhance the brand.”

The expected job cuts would total more than 7% of Nissan’s 138,000-strong workforce, Reuters reported.

Regions which could be affected include India and Brazil, where the firm has factories.

Nissan boss Hiroto Saikawa faces a number of challenges, including fractured relations with French alliance partner Renault following the arrest of Mr Ghosn, their shared former chairman.

Mr Ghosn has denied all the charges against him.

Mr Saikawa, who was appointed by Mr Ghosn, kept his job in a vote at an annual shareholders meeting last month, but Nissan has formed a nominations committee to find his successor.

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