It was late 2005 when Nissan announced it was packing up operations in Southern California and moving to Tennessee. If you didn't choose to move east of the Mississippi, and many didn't, you were looking elsewhere for a new job. Some of the lucky few who dodged the axe worked for Nissan Design America, the North American design team split between sites in Farmington Hills, MI and San Diego, CA. Now, it seems those workers may have lost their immunity, too.
Citing streamlining in the automotive design process, Nissan execs are saying they just don't need the size staff they required in the past. Where it used to take four years to design a new model, now it just takes half as long and a smaller group of employees can readily manage the shorter design cycle. If there is a bright side to this news, it is that the layoff is quite small for the automobile industry--less than one dozen employees are expected to take the voluntary severance package.