Carlos Ghosn, the current head of both Nissan and Renault, maintains that a "crisis" is underfoot in Japan. The man who is credited with slashing and burning his way to profitability has recognized that operations at both a production and management level, cannot remain that same. So in early April, he'll be handing over control of Nissan's North and South American operations to Hiroto Saikawa.
Saikawa, currently the Executive veep at Nissan, maintains that relinquishing Ghosn from his duties in the West will allow him to focus on some of the problems at home -- primarily the 17th consecutive month of lost sales Nissan is experiencing in Japan. In order to bring things back into order, the automaker plans to eliminate one shift from factories in both the Kanagawa and Tochigi prefectures, whittling down production at the plants to one shift per day.

More cuts will take place over the following months, along with a renewed focus on marketing and sales. Those efforts, partnered with revisions to the sales forecast in 2007, will hopefully bring things back into balance for the third largest automaker in Japan. How these cuts may affect Nissan's presence in the U.S. remains to be seen, but with few new models being debuted this year, the North American market will do little to get Nissan back on the horse.

[Sources: Automotive News – Sub. Req., Bloomberg]


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