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Seems that their takeover of the USA truck business is on shaky ground.

From Automotive News:

Nissan will buy out 12.5% of Tennessee work force

Lindsay Chappell | Automotive News / March 23, 2007 - 2:00 pm


NASHVILLE -- Nissan North America's effort to pare its work force at two key Tennessee plants will result in 775 voluntary buyouts, the automaker said this morning.

Nissan had predicted that about 300 of its 6,200 eligible vehicle assembly and engine workers would take its buyout offer.

The final count means Nissan will part with 12.5 percent of the combined work forces at Smyrna and Decherd, Tenn.

Nissan offered a $45,000 cash payment, plus $500 for each year worked.

Of the total, 303 employees already were eligible for retirement and opted to take Nissan's offer.

"This will help us reach the efficiency we need to achieve," said Nissan spokesman Fred Standish. He said it is possible that future product launches in Smyrna might require Nissan to add workers temporarily.

The Smyrna plant builds the Altima and Maxima cars, Pathfinder and Xterra SUVs and Frontier pickup. The Decherd engine plant supplies the Smyrna factory and Nissan's Canton, Miss., assembly plant.

Nissan launched the buyout campaign after sales softened for some of its U.S.-built models - particularly its trucks. So far this year, Smyrna has built an estimated 43,757 Pathfinders, Xterras and Frontiers, down nearly 30 percent from a year ago.

Nissan's Canton plant -- which produces the Altima, full-sized Titan pickup, Quest minivan, and Armada and Infiniti QX56 SUVs -- was not in the voluntary program. Canton built about 278,000 vehicles last year, short of its full capacity of 400,000.

Standish said that because Canton is a newer plant with younger workers, it did not have the same needs to improve efficiency as Smyrna and Decherd did.
 
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