Nissan Australia has retrenched 50 workers at its aluminium casting plant in Dandenong South, Victoria, as orders for its engines and parts dry up.

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The lay-offs, taking place yesterday and today, follow production cuts in Japan and the United States in the wake of the global economic crisis.

Nissan Australia spokesman Jeff Fisher said almost all the die-cast aluminium and transmission parts produced by the plant went overseas.

"Japan is cutting production and the US is down 35 per cent," Mr Fisher said.

Nissan is offering retrenched workers counselling and assistance in finding new jobs.