Nissan will reduce its U.S. workforce and further cut expenses as the automaker grapples with a sales and financial crisis in its biggest market.
Nissan North America said late Tuesday it will offer voluntary buyouts to Nissan and Infiniti hourly and salaried employees 52 years or older in the U.S. Nissan also will shrink its regional sales operation to reflect declining sales and market share.
Nissan North America has more than 20,000 hourly and salaried employees.
Nissan spokesman Chris Keeffe declined to say how many employees the company expects will accept the voluntary separation program. He also declined to say whether layoffs will take place if there are not enough volunteers for the buyout program.
Nissan North America's U.S. sales tumbled 9.9 percent to 1.35 million vehicles last year, in an overall market that fell 1.2 percent. The automaker's U.S. market share, meanwhile, dropped to 7.9 percent last year, from 8.6 percent the prior year, according to the Automotive News Data Center.
Some of that is the result of a calculated effort to wean the brand off of fleet sales.
This is the second round of recent voluntary buyouts at Nissan North America. Last year, the company offered buyouts to hundreds of salaried employees in the U.S. and additionally announced plans for 700 job cuts at its plant in Canton, Miss. But the number of layoffs dropped to 380 following attrition and a voluntary separation program.
Nissan late last year said it would cut employee travel budgets by 50 percent and put the entire U.S. organization on two days of unpaid furlough in early January.
Reuters reported on Tuesday that parent company Nissan Motor Co. is set to eliminate at least 4,300 white-collar jobs and shut two manufacturing sites as part of broader plans to add at least 480 billion yen ($4.4 billion) to its bottom line by 2023.
"While we've made some positive progress, Nissan's performance has fallen short of our expectations," Nissan North America Chairman Jose Valls said in a memo sent to employees in December.