Ailing Nissan to halve domestic sales force

By From search.japantimes| Mar 29 2007
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Continuing efforts to improve efficiency, struggling Nissan Motor Co. said Tuesday that it will reorganize its dealer network into 10 regional groups and halve its domestic sales workforce by the end of 2011.

In 2006, the carmaker's domestic sales fell 11.5 percent to 766,702 vehicles, the first drop in four years.

"The overall domestic auto market is shrinking, and consumers are shifting toward minicars. The trend will probably continue," said Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga at a news conference in Tokyo. "Our sales of nonminivehicles may fall by two-digits in March."

"Sales at home through March are expected to total about 740,000 units. The figure is down about 100,000 vehicles from the volume a year ago," he said.

As part of its mid- to long-term plan, the company will begin reorganizing the current dealer network into 10 regional groups next month. Each group will have its own regional headquarters.

Currently, the company has about 2,400 branches in Japan and 138 regional sales subsidiaries.

The 2,300-member workforce in sales, marketing and at dealerships will be halved by the integration of the dealer network, which will be completed by the fiscal year ending in March 2011, the company said.

Earlier this month the company said it plans to cut production at two of its plants.

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