Showing that they are not immune to the troubles that have plagued the Big 3 U.S. automakers; Japanese manufacturers are implementing production and cost-saving measures under the pressures of mounting worldwide economic struggles. Adding to the dismal outlook for almost every major automaker is Nissan who announced last week that it will cut production for five months beginning next month at its two American plants due to lagging demand in the United States.
Infiniti luxury models are the most affected by this decision with output cut by 28,000 units. Cutbacks at are not isolated to the States either, as Nissan has also cut production by 37,000 units of its sport utility Murano and Rogue models at its plant in Fukuoka Japan. This follows Nissans decision to lay off 1,680 workers in Spain due to weak demand.Luxury and SUV sales, which have been suffering for some time because of high fuel costs, are not alone in feeling the pinch from the economic dillemas at work in the states. Nissan is periodically stopping production for several days at their plants in Tennessee and Mississippi. The Tennessee plant produces sedan, coupe and hybrid versions of the Altima and Maxima sport sedan which were previously less impacted by surging gas prices. Altima output at the Nissan plant in Mississippi is also being halted. Nissan’s sales in the United States dropped 37 percent year-on-year in September due to slowing demand as American consumers tightened their purse strings amid the deepening financial crisis.
These cuts follow the previously untouchable sales giants Toyota and Honda, who are likewise adjusting to the plummeting demand. Toyota halted production of Tundra pickups at its San Antonio and Indiana plants for more than three months, and also stopped making Sequoia large SUVs in Indiana during the same period. The company has said it will restart Tundra production only in Texas in mid-November. Honda last week widened planned production cuts of Pilot SUVs and Odyssey minivans at an Alabama plant to a total of 32,000 units, continuing into the first quarter of 2009. Outlooks by analysts predict that when all is said and done, total annual car sales in the U.S. will be reduced to the lowest levels since 1983.