As part of a sweeping response to its first net loss since President and Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn took over in 1999, today Nissan Motor Company announced that it will cut 20,000 jobs across the globe, seek assistance offered by the Japanese and American governments, cut back model introductions for the next few years, and move production of one of their vehicles out of Japan. While no plant closings are imminent, almost half of the job cuts planned by March 2010 will be outside of Japan, many of them in the already-struggling United States.

"The global automotive industry is in turmoil, and Nissan is not an exception. When revenue falls quickly and significantly, it creates a situation that is both unsustainable and potentially dangerous," Ghosn said.

The good news? Even in the midst of what appears to be a mini-overhaul of Nissan’s operations, they have no plans to make cuts to their electric vehicle program, intended for release in 2010. In fact, Nissan plans to become the first Japanese auto maker to apply for U.S. Department of Energy loans set aside for helping the auto industry develop fuel-efficient and alternative-fuel vehicles. Even in crisis mode, this demonstrates Nissan’s sense of the importance of diversifying their line-up to include a mass-produced electric vehicle.

Source: Wall Street Journal