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Nissan spends on new global head office

Kae Inoue From Shanghai Daily| January 15,2007

NISSAN Motor Co, Japan's second-largest auto maker, has said it will invest 42 billion yen (US$349 million) to build a new global headquarters to help it trim costs and operate more efficiently.

Nissan, the maker of Altima and Sentra sedans, is transferring its head office to the port city of Yokohama, south of Tokyo, from central Tokyo by not later than October 2009.

Nissan Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn is trying to cut costs and boost efficiency by moving the car maker's headquarters in its two biggest markets, the United States and Japan, closer to its factories and technical centers. The company expects to post its seventh consecutive year of record earnings for the fiscal year ending March 31, Bloomberg News said.

"It will help Nissan boost its efficiency," Ghosn said at the new office's groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday. "Nissan was established in Yokohama more than 70 years ago and returning to the area is a natural flow."

The move will be more cost-effective than renovating the existing headquarters, Ghosn has said. The new building will also be cheaper to run. The auto maker was founded in Yokohama in 1933.

In the United States, Nissan moved its North American head office to suburban Nashville, Tennessee, from Los Angeles on August 1. Nissan has factories in Tennessee and Mississippi.

The auto maker, now based in central Tokyo's Ginza district, one of Japan's most expensive shopping areas, will shift all of its operations from its current office. The new facility will accommodate over 2,500 employees, Nissan said.

Nissan, 44.3 percent owned by Renault SA, has already relocated its purchasing, production and distribution departments to Atsugi, near Yokohama, where the company has its research and development center.

The new headquarters will comprise 22 office floors including the ground and mezzanine levels, reaching a height of 99 meters. It will encompass a total floor space of 80,000 square meters.

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