Nissan Cutting Another 500 Jobs

Company will reduce output by 78,000 cars from January to March

Nissan Motor Co. said on Dec. 17 it was eliminating another 500 jobs in Japan and reducing production as the global economic crisis saps demand for cars. Japan's third largest automaker said it would reduce output by 78,000 cars from January to March by cutting shifts or operating days at plants.

The 500 workers are all on temporary contracts. With the cuts, Nissan will no longer have any contract workers at its factories in Japan, a company spokeswoman said.

Nissan said it took the decision to "manage inventory levels and ensure a balanced production supply in response to continued declines in global vehicle sales."

Nissan, whose net profit slumped by more than 40% in the first half, said in October it was slashing 3,500 jobs worldwide.

It had already in recent months said it would cut production by 137,000 vehicles, mostly luxury cars and sports utility vehicles that had been meant for export to the U.S., which has seen demand plummet.

Temporary workers have borne the brunt of Japan's economic slowdown. Companies had in recent years hired a growing number of contract workers, who do not have the same social protections as regular employees.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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