Nissan Motor Co. announced plans March 27 to halve its domestic sales workforce of 2,300 by 2010 as the Japanese automaker restructures in its home market where it has suffered from poor sales. Nissan, which is preparing to report its first drop in annual profits said the revamp was designed to boost the performance of its dealerships as the auto market evolves.
The automaker will initially reorganize its dealerships into 10 groups by geographic region. "Subsequent to the establishment of the regional companies, we are going to halve the number of people in the back office operations, sales and marketing and subsidiary dealers," said Nissan's chief operating officer Toshiyuki Shiga. He said that the concentration of the back-office operations would boost Nissan's cost competitiveness.
Nissan, which is 44% owned by France's Renault, warned investors in February that net profits were expected to slide by over 11% in the year to March 2007 due to poor sales, particularly in its home market. Shiga said that domestic sales were expected to fall by 100,000 vehicles in the financial year ending this month, to about 740,000 units. He blamed the poor performance on the growing popularity of mini-cars which have hit demand for traditional vehicles even as the overall market shrinks.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007