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Thursday, 25 April, 2002, 06:11 GMT 07:11 UK
Nissan hires 4,000
Carlos Ghosn, Nissan president
Mr Ghosn has lifted Nissan back into the black
The Japanese car maker Nissan Motor has announced plans to hire 4,000 new workers by March 2003.

"This is part of our strategy to ensure stable growth and increased competitiveness," a spokesman said.

Nissan's hiring spree marks the successful turn-around of the car maker by the former Renault executive Carlos Ghosn since his arrival in 1999.

Before Mr Ghosn took over as president of Nissan, the company had been losing money almost every year since the early 1990s.

For the year to March 2002, the company is expected to announce net profits of 330bn yen (1.76bn; $2.54bn) and 6.3 trillion yen wroth of sales.

Nissan's latest move also stands out in an industry marked by overcapacity, losses and cut-backs.

US factory

The recruitment push will add 3.2% to the company's global workforce of 125,000.

About a quarter of Nissan's new recruits will work on new technology projects, such as fuel-cell cars.

Industry analyst Steve Usher told the BBC's World Business Report Nissan is behind competitors in terms of its fuel-cell activities.

"Over the last few years they have been focusing more on restoring profitability, getting the balance sheet back in order and improving the product line-up," he said.

While 2,500 of them will work at the company's new $930m factory near Canton, Mississippi in the US.

The plant will eventually employ 4,000 makers of pickup trucks, minivans and sport utility vehicles.

Renault last month boosted its stake in Nissan from its original 36.8% shareholding to 44.4%.

Industry analyst Steve Usher
"Four thousand would account for about 20% of the jobs shed overall"
See also:

28 Apr 02 | England
Fire at Nissan plant
30 Oct 01 | Business
Nissan and Renault cement ties
21 Jun 01 | Business
Ghosn tightens Nissan grip
17 May 01 | Business
Nissan returns to profit
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