Nissan Will Cut 10,000 Jobs, Raising Fears For Sunderland Workers

Nissan Will Cut 10,000 Jobs, Raising Fears For Sunderland Workers

Nissan Will Cut 10,000 Jobs, Raising Fears For Sunderland Workers

Reports have emerged that Nissan intends to cut 10,000 jobs from its global workforce. Representing around 10% of the total, it’s more than double previously suggested figures…

Raised Fears

Inside sources have revealed that Nissan intends to cut its global workforce by 10%; translating to roughly 10,000 jobs. This is more than double the original stated figure of 4,800. The announcement will be a concern for many in the UK; where the Japanese automaker employs 7,000 people at its Sunderland plant. Workers at the facility were already landed with the depressing news that it wouldn’t produce its new X-Trail model there earlier this year.  Whilst it’s not yet clear where the jobs will be cut, or when they’ll be made, it’s likely some will be based in Britain. If so, it’ll be the latest blow to the automotive industry which has suffered a series of setbacks.

Tumbling Profits

It’s been a terrible year for Nissan, few would argue against it. Allegations of financial misconduct caused it to turn its back on former boss Carlos Ghosn. The ensuing controversy demonstrated how dependent the automotive leviathan had been on his personality and surrounding retinue; it’s struggled to find strong leadership since his forced departure. More generally, it’s had to contend with a significant decline in its US sales, competition in China and disinterest in diesel models. In fiscal 2018, sales dropped by 14.9% in Europe, 9.3% in the US and fell 4.4% globally. Insiders have also expressed to journalists that manufacturing facilities outside of Japan are currently underutilised; leaving them exposed to cuts.

Under Ghosn, the British Government had received assurances from Nissan of investment in the Sunderland plant; this included the manufacture of the X-Trail model. A £40 million loan was granted to the company, following a meeting with Ghosn, to develop the facility further.

Britain’s Automotive Industry

The current state of Britain’s car industry is one of contrasts. Ford has announced that it’ll be closing its Bridgend plant and cutting jobs across the country. Honda will be closing its Swindon plant, cutting 3,500 jobs. Vauxhall has also suggested that its Ellesmere plant is under threat; largely due to Brexit uncertainty. Small, specialist automakers seem to remain in a stable condition. Lotus, with assistance from Chinese Geely, is finally producing a new supercar. The boss of Aston Martin has also suggested that current conditions, including Brexit uncertainty, is unlikely to affect the business. Curiously, Jaguar Land Rover, which has continually criticised Brexit negotiations, has u-turned and suggested that Brexit could actually boost its profitability.

Mike Hawes, chief executive at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, painted a bleak picture of the British automotive industry. He said, “the ongoing political instability and uncertainty over our future overseas trade relationships, most notably with Europe, is not helping and, whilst the industry’s fundamentals remain strong, a brighter future is only possible if we secure a deal that can help us regain our reputation as an attractive location for automotive investment.”

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