• Feb 20, 2007
Word has just come across the wire that Nissan will be offering a "voluntary transition program" to all of its hourly employees working in either its Smyrna or Dechard manufacturing plants in Tennessee. These are effectively buyouts, which can net an hourly worker a lump sum of $45,000 and a bonus $500 for each year of service. It's certainly not the sweet deal offered to members of the UAW who work for General Motors and Ford, but the offer could help Nissan reduce the rank and file of its relatively young and non-union work force in North America. For whatever reason, the offer is only being made to employees at these two plants in Tennessee. The Smyrna plant employs about 6,700 people, though some are surely salaried, and produces the Altima, Frontier, Maxima, Xterra and Pathfinder. The Dechard plant only employs 1,400 people and produces many of Nissan's engines, including the glorious VQ 3.5L V6. This news is pretty fresh, so we'll keep our ears peeled for reaction from the auto pundits.

[Source: Jalopnik]


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  • 17 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Three things are certain in life: Death, taxes and Bryan piling on anytime anything bad can be said about Nissan. I'm guessing he's one of the chronic whiners who didn't want to leave California or he works for a competitor. In either case it's unethical as hell.

      Nissan is simply doing what the Big 3 should have done, didn't do, and are paying dearly for now. That is: right sizing your business. When Nissan's model mix improves they'll hire temps and newbies in at the bottom of the payscale and make the kinds of profits that will sustain an automotive company in America in the 21st century. What's top dog Toyota openly concerned about? Wages and benefits being out of line with sales. When Toyota worries about such things you know it's a big issue.

      No Bryan, Nissan isn't failing no matter how much you want to throw the first shovel of dirt. They are circling the wagons for what is sure to be a tough year for all manufacturers except Toyota. Then when the skies clear up they'll be in a great position to leap forward.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Severance packages are often times used to separate employees and has nothing to do with Nissan trying to prevent unionization of their workforce. As an interesting side note, if it weren't for the past efforts of the unions there would be no concept of a severance package but that's another story. The reason severance packages are offered usually has to do with reaching a termination agreement. If you agree to be fired then it's a lot easier to reduce your workforce. If you just outright fire people then you expose yourself to lawsuits and bad feelings/low morale among those who remain. It's a tax write-off anyway. You guys should really learn more about unions before assuming all that is evil in this world can be attibuted to them.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Aside from it being a "nice thing to do", can someone remind me why Nissan would *pay* to lay off their workers? :scratches head:
      • 7 Years Ago
      Uh-Huh
      • 7 Years Ago
      Shift_to the unemployment line.

      Not very good. Has anyone got any better ones?

      Oh, oh, here's one:

      Shift_income brackets
      • 7 Years Ago
      Last good Nissan sedan, wasn't even a Nissan, it was a Datsun 510, last great car 240Z, it's been downhill ever since.

      As to Goshn, told ya so. The guy took over at just the right time, now it's time to leave.
      • 7 Years Ago
      First of all, this is a Japanese company and it should be operated by the Japanese and made by the Japanese. Honda and Toyota were lucky with their operations here in the U.S., but when ever they make outside of Japan is crap.
      The Murano and Z are they only cars left made in Japan and are made much better. The same that is true with Infiniti. The ugly Tenn. made Q56 has had a team of Japanese flown in to try to fix the problem(same for the Nissan Quest). Just bring the JDMs here and Nissan will be back in action. I promise!!!!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Another great cost cutting idea from Mr Ghosn. Carry on like this and you 180' turnaround will become 360! We can already see this happening with falling sales and stale cars and technologies at Nissan AND Renault! I admit that Mr Ghosn did a stellar job in returning Nissan to health (though, component sharing with the notoriusly unreliable Renault was a mistake) but he should have handed the reins back to a car guy afterwards. Now Mr Ghosn thinks he can keep cost cutting his way to profitability. Real profits come from new sales. Stop your sales slide and you're half way to fixing the problem (Messers, Wagoner, Mullaly and LaSorda take note! Though, to be fair, I think Mr Mullaly actually has a real world grasp of the problems at Ford)

      Am I the only one who thinks Mr Ghosn is one of, if not the, most overrated Auto CEO's today?
      • 7 Years Ago
      There is no doubt that Nissan has lost its way . People blame it on lots of things like moving out from California , Renault so on and so forth. Only thing I would say is that the products don't seem to be up to the mark. The new Sentra is ok ,nothing great. Like wise the Altima is so , so . So like GM and Ford it is a product problem.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'll bash the unions. When GM shut down the plant in OK, the auto workers got to sit at a table doing crosswords while it was another GM paid employee's job to find them work that the auto worker would have to find acceptable. They collected their usual salary the whole time as if they were building cars! This went on for almost a year!!!!!!

      I know, none of my business. If GM wants to bend over like that for the union, so be it. Except for this:

      Now that the sweet deal screw job period is over, the government has decided to step in. Anyone who hasn't found work (meaning after a year's time with a record economy and record lows in unemployment-translation-you don't want to work) will receive unemployment compsensation, funding for job training, relocation reimbursement, etc., etc., etc..

      All compliments of the American taxpayer most of whom have never experienced this kind of pampering.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Maybe they are freeing up there money to buy Chrysler ;)

      Rob
      http://www.autoshortlist.com
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is strange. Just a few months ago, or so it's seems, we were reading that Nissan was all but paying folks to re-locate from the West Coast. Yeah, I know, THOSE employees weren't working the "line". But Nissan seems to have many employees it can't please.

      Also odd, the plant in Ms. that builds the Titan isn't laying off, even though sales aren't all that great.
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