Nissan is slashing 1,200 jobs in the wake of a continuing fall in sales. It is planning to make the cuts at the UK’s biggest car manufacturing plant in Sunderland.
The factory, which opened in 1986, employs about 5,000 people. The expected job losses come just a year after the car maker created about 800 jobs at the plant.
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), Nissan sold 66,336 new cars in the UK last year, which was 0.14% lower compared to 2007. However, sales for December fell 26.68% compared to the same period in 2007. The average sales decline across the automotive industry is 21.2%.
Trevor Mann, Nissan’s senior vice-president for manufacturing, Europe, says: “Like all manufacturers, the Sunderland plant is currently operating in extraordinary circumstances not of our making.
“It is essential we take the right action now to ensure we are in a strong and viable position once business conditions return to normal.”
The move follows production and staff cuts being made in Japan by Toyota, Honda, Mazda and Nissan. In the US, Ford, General Motors and Chrysler are banking on multibillion-dollar government funding to help them stay in business.