Nissan is shrinking again. Not in the sense that it plans to build smaller cars, but that the Japanese automaker is downsizing its workforce in an attempt to stabilize a company at risk of circling the metaphorical drain.
On Tuesday, Nissan announced that it will reduce its U.S. workforce of 20,000 employees by offering buyouts to workers across its core and luxury brands.
The automaker says that the buyout offer will be voluntary, available to both hourly and salaried workers aged 52 years and older.
Nissan doesn't specify the number of employees that it plans to target, nor if there will be mandatory layoffs should that number remain unmet.
This news comes just months after the automaker announced a nine-percent cut to its global workforce, placing 12,500 total jobs on the chopping block worldwide.
It's unclear if this round of buyouts is related to that decision. In summer 2018, Nissan reduced its North American production capacity by 20 percent due to declining sales.
"Like many other automotive companies, Nissan North America is taking proactive steps to assess our structure, workflow, and operational efficiencies amid a challenging industry environment," wrote Nissan's head of sales and senior VP, Airton Cousseau, in a letter sent to dealers obtained by Automotive News.
"This reorganization will create office synergies that will enable a leaner organization while still focusing on dealer profitability and your ability to continue providing a quality customer experience.
You will continue to receive all the support you need."
Buzzwords aside, this move is Nissan's response to not only its own slumping sales figures but also an industry-wide downturn after a momentous decade of growth and positive cash flow.