The woes continue for Nissan. Japan’s third-largest automaker, which has said it is planning to restructure its operations and cut costs, may have to further reduce its global workforce as it seeks ways to restore its business to profitability.

Last July, it had said that it was set to cut 12,500 jobs at 14 production bases across the world by March 2023 as part of a restructuring. Now, as Kyodo News reports, the number of cuts may increase to over 20,000, which would represent a 15% reduction of its 139,000 global workforce.

Sources told the publication that slumping sales due to the Covid-19 pandemic is necessitating a revision of the restructuring plan, and the company is considering cutting jobs in Europe and some emerging economies as it seeks to streamline production operations and restore its battered business.

The deepening business slump, exacerbated by the pandemic, has pushed Nissan to work on additional reform measures. It has already announced plant closures in Spain as well as Indonesia and some other emerging markets, and the phasing out of its Datsun sub-brand.

Downsizing plans, which were reported last month, are expected to be revealed in a new medium-term management plan that will be announced. This will likely include a cut of global output capacity by 20% by fiscal 2022.

The company is set to release its earnings results for the year ended March, and has already said it expects to report a group net loss of 85 billion yen (RM3.4 billion) to 95 billion yen (RM3.86 billion) in fiscal 2019. Global sales amounted to 4.79 million vehicles, marking a progressive slide from the record high of 5.79 million units it achieved in fiscal 2017.