Nissan announced some realigning measures today that ultimately add up to resignations and relocations. The measures affect Nissan North America sales and marketing and Nissan Design America, specifically. The first reduces the number of regional sales offices around the country from 11 to just seven that are supported by 23 satellite offices. The four offices to be closed are in Herndon, VA; Pleasanton, CA; Aurora, IL; and Atlanta, GA.

The second adjustment directly involves Michigan where, back in 2005, Nissan had opened a new branch of Nissan Design America in Farmington Hills. That branch of NDA will be no more, as Nissan announced today that it will integrate the Farmington Hills studio with its San Diego design studio (shown above). The studio in Farmington Hills, which is only four years old, will remain and be repurposed by Nissan for other uses. Retreat camp, perhaps? Who knows, but the net effect of all this shuffling is a Nissan North America that's 110 employees lighter.

The Japanese automaker hopes a "voluntary transition plan" will achieve the reduction in staff. We don't know many people who would voluntarily walk away from a good job in this economic climate, so the state of California may need to open its arms for some relocating refugees from Michigan.

[Source: Nissan North America, Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty]


PRESS RELEASE

NISSAN REALIGNS U.S. SALES & MARKETING, DESIGN OPERATIONS

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (Jan. 27, 2009) – Nissan is realigning some of its North American operations to ensure long-term competitiveness in the U.S. market. The actions include a restructuring of the Nissan North America (NNA) sales and marketing operations and the integration of Nissan Design America (NDA).

NNA is restructuring its sales and marketing field operations to be better positioned to serve dealers and consumers. Specific actions include transitioning from a field structure based on 11 regional sales offices to a new structure with seven regional sales offices and 23 satellite offices in 18 locations across the United States. This shift involves the closure of four regional sales offices: Nissan Mid-Atlantic in Herndon, Va.; Nissan Northwest in Pleasanton, Calif.; Infiniti Central in Aurora, Ill.; and Infiniti South in Atlanta.

Additional enhancements to the sales and marketing organization include expanded personnel assigned to support each dealer and the creation of a dedicated electric vehicle project team.

NDA is integrating its operations into its San Diego studio beginning April 1. This action is being taken to strengthen NDA's role in Nissan's global design organization by increasing the level of participation in the exploratory and advanced phases of North American and global design projects. This integration will result in the redeployment of the design facility in Farmington Hills, Mich., for use by other functions of the company. This does not impact the research and development operations at Nissan Technical Center North America, which has facilities in Farmington Hills and in Stanfield, Ariz.

Taken together, these actions will eliminate approximately 110 positions. Nissan intends to achieve the majority of these reductions through a voluntary transition plan.

In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive design, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program 2010, whose key priorities are reducing CO2 emissions, cutting other emissions and increasing recycling. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.infiniti.com.