Nissan will be cutting 1200 jobs in Britain due to slowing sales caused by the global economic slowdown.
Primarily these jobs will be cut at the firm's plant in Sunderland, northeast England, which has around 5000 workers and is one of the biggest employers in the region, though Nissan warned sales positions across the entire UK could also suffer if the current economic trend continues.
Work at the production line in Sunderland only resumed on Monday after an extended Christmas shutdown in response to the slowdown in car sales. Production had been halted on December 18, five days earlier than expected, after a surprise shutdown the previous week.
"Like all manufacturers, the Sunderland plant is currently operating in extraordinary circumstances not of our making,'' said Trevor Mann, Nissan's Senior Vice President for manufacturing in Europe. "It is essential we take the right action now to ensure we are in a strong and viable position once business conditions return to normal. Unavoidably, this means we have had to make some very tough decisions in recent weeks. However by doing so, we are helping to safeguard our long-term future which I believe is extremely positive. The long-term future of the plant must remain our over-riding priority.''
Nissan said the outlook for the car market this year remained extremely challenging, adding that it was committed to taking the right action now to safeguard the plant's long-term sustainability. A dramatic decline in customer demand towards the end of 2008 had also affected its decision.
Britain has seen 11 per cent year-on-year fall in sales as at the end of 2008.