PARIS -- Nissan will move its top European executives from France and England to new headquarters in Switzerland effective January 2008.
About 100 of Nissan Europes leading managers will work from new offices in Rolle, a small town halfway between Geneva and Lausanne. Nissan established a European headquarters for its Infiniti premium brand in the town earlier this year.
Nissan Europe currently is based in southwest Paris, close to the headquarters of its alliance partner Renault. About 450 of its 12,000 European employees work there.
When Nissan set up its Paris headquarters in 2001, it needed Renaults knowledge of the European market, Renault spokeswoman Claire Martin said. But now Nissan has enough experience to operate alone, she said.
Nissan Europes communications director, Jean-Paul Marie, said the move to Switzerland will help top executives concentrate on strategic issues.
We want to make sure our people in charge of medium- and long-term strategy dont get heavily involved in running the day-to-day business, Marie said.
GM Europe nearby
Nissan Europes top two executives in Paris -- Brian Carolin, head of sales and marketing, and Eric Nicolas, who runs administration and finance -- will be part of the move. Trevor Mann, head of manufacturing, purchasing and supply chain management, also likely will move to Rolle from Sunderland, northeast England, where Nissan has an assembly plant.
Nissan chose Switzerland because of its good infrastructure and because it is a popular place to work, Marie said. Tax advantages, which Switzerland often grants to companies, were not a big consideration.
General Motors Europe is also headquartered in Switzerland.
You may e-mail Sylviane de Saint-Seine at [email protected]