Nissan cuts output in Tenn., Miss. after U.S. sales slump

Nissan Motor Co. said Tuesday it is cutting production of its Altima models at assembly plants in Tennessee and Mississippi because of sluggish U.S. demand.

Nissan North America spokesman Steve Parrett said employees at the plants in Smyrna, Tenn., and Canton, Miss., are taking days off without pay on the last three Fridays this month. The workers have the option of getting paid by using vacation time, he said.

The vehicles affected in Smyrna are the Altima sedan, coupe and hybrid. The cuts in Canton only affect the sedan. .

Nissan “will remain competitive in the challenging environment that exists in the U.S. economy and in our industry,” the company's statement said.

In Tokyo, a Nissan spokeswoman said the company also will slash output by 28,000 units, mostly Infiniti luxury models, at its factory in Tochigi. Nissan spokeswoman Ikue Matsuura said that production cut will last five months starting from November.

Nissan, Japan's third-biggest automaker, also planned to cut production by 37,000 units, mostly the sport utility vehicles Murano and Rogue, at its plant in Fukuoka, southern Japan, from November to March next year, Matsuura said.

Nissan's sales in the U.S. dropped 37 percent year-on-year in September.

The Asahi daily said Tuesday that Nissan would slash the number of temporary workers at its domestic factories to cope with the poor U.S. sales. The spokeswoman declined to confirm the report.