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Nissan Australia cuts white-collar jobs

Departed: Nissan Australia general manager of marketing Ross Booth has left the building.

Marketing general manager among managerial staff made redundant at Nissan Australia

9 Apr 2009

NISSAN Australia’s general manager of marketing Ross Booth is one of a number of managerial staff made redundant in recent weeks at the prominent Japanese marque.

Corporate communications manager Jeff Fisher has confirmed to GoAuto that Mr Booth was one of two members of Nissan Australia’s management operating committee to leave – the other was company secretary and legal counsel Colin Buckley – and that an unspecified number of other white-collar positions had been cut.

GoAuto sources have indicated that this amounts to 20 per cent of staff at Nissan Australia’s head office in Dandenong, Victoria. Mr Fisher said he was unable to calculate a percentage, but said the actual number of job cuts was “less than 20”.

Nissan Australia’s general manager of sales and network development Stephen Collins has added marketing to his portfolio, while Mr Buckley’s responsibilities have been absorbed within the management operating committee.

“He (Mr Booth) departed the company along with a number of other people,” Mr Fisher told GoAuto, adding that Nissan staff repatriated from head office in Japan and elsewhere had assumed some of the other roles.

“We are undergoing a period of renewal and looking at what our resources and personnel skill sets are to face up to what we believe is a changing market.

“So we have new people starting here in different roles, and with different tasks that are different to some of the roles and responsibilities that were the expectations of the people who are departing.

“We’ve made some structural changes within departments here, put people on to different jobs, moved people into other areas and into areas where we think there is a developing need. So some people are being chartered with new responsibilities and expectations.”

As an example, Mr Fisher said one staff member moved from aftersales parts into a financial management area.

He also emphasised that Nissan Australia was not “restructuring” but “reassessing priorities” in response to the current economic conditions.

“I wouldn’t count it as a ‘restructuring’. This goes on all the time. We’re in the middle of a global financial situation which probably fashions the term ‘restructuring’ for a lot of organisations. But we don’t see it as that,” he said.

“We see it as a consistent process of reassessing priorities and applying the resources that we have – or finding new ones to get us shaped up properly for the future. That includes the market scenario as it plays out at the moment, but also looking for growth in the longer-term.

“Around the world, Nissan is looking at readdressing market situations and, yes, we’re impacted here in this country. But, as you know, the United States and Europe are much more acute in terms of the challenges that they face, and these sorts of things are happening (there) on a much larger scale and very, very frequently.”

The white-collar redundancies at Nissan Australia have occurred around four weeks after the company announced it would cut 57 jobs at its casting plant in Dandenong south, following production cuts and reduced demand from Nissan Motor Co and third parties.

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