PARIS - Nissan Europe will shed around 2,400 jobs as part of its global reorganization following the alliance with Renault.
An announcement in late April or early May will detail the new structure, and the movement of many Nissan Europe personnel to Paris, where Renault is based. Jobs will be lost across most Nissan Europe operations, including finance, company-owned dealerships, local distributors, and headquarters.
The job of president of Nissan Europe, which was held by Ian Gibson, has been eliminated. The same thing happened at Nissan North America, where former president Nobuo Araki is returning to Japan.
Major overseas operations will now be directly managed from Nissan's Tokyo headquarters by executive vice-president Norio Matsumura. Matsumura already had responsibility for European operations.
Staff at Nissan's Amsterdam headquarters have been told to expect a rapid movement of some departments to Paris this year, although others will remain in the Netherlands for up to two more years. Staff were also told that some key Nissan Europe responsibilities were moving to Tokyo and to the newly named Nissan Global HQ - including manufacturing and purchasing. Sources expect Nissan Europe's official headquarters to move to Paris, although a move to the UK has also been discussed.
Gibson remains senior vice president of Nissan and joins the Nissan Europe supervisory board. He will also be in charge of 'European special projects,' although sources say he is taking a step back from day-to-day European operations.
Matsumura will head Nissan Europe's new management board, which includes four senior vice-presidents. Mario Canavesi, previously Renault general manager in Germany, will head sales and marketing. He replaces Hartmut Kieven, a long-time Ford executive who held the job since mid-1998. Kieven resigned in February. Canavesi is the only newcomer among Nissan Europe's top executives.
Masaki Sugisawa remains head of engineering. He is also president of Nissan Technical Center Europe, which includes Nissan's three technical centers in Cranfield, UK, Brussels, Belgium, and Barcelona, Spain.
Kazuto 'Kaz' Koga covers manufacturing, purchasing, quality and logistics. He joined Nissan Europe in 1995 and he had been deputy general manager of Nissan's Sunderland, UK, plant until 1999. Tsutomu 'Tommy Takamiya' is in charge of finance, administration and human resources. He has been in charge of corporate planning since he joined Nissan Europe in 1997.
At a national European level, two types of distributorship will be developed: firstly, a dual organization where Renault and Nissan work side by side, but with shared operations such as human resources and finance; and secondly, a merged structure where Nissan will become part of the Renault operation, albeit with separate front office staff. Smaller markets like Switzerland are likely to adopt the merged model.
At dealer level there will be a major push to adopt Renault's 'hub' system, with single dealers operating out of huge catchment areas, with centralized functions like parts, bodyshops and finance, and small sales and service satellites spread throughout the territories. France will lead the way with this plan.
Among other appointments, Claire Martin will take a senior role in corporate communications for Nissan Europe. Martin is a former assistant to Nissan chief operating officer Carlos Ghosn when he was Renault executive vice-president. Ghosn takes over as Nissan President in May.