Led by jumps of more than 40 percent for two its top three models, Nissan North America posted September sales growth of 17 percent. The Franklin-based division of the Japanese auto maker sold more than 111,000 Nissans — a record number — and more than 10,000 Infiniti cars last month. The bestseller was the Rogue crossover, which more than 25,000 customers snapped up. The small Versa also posted very strong growth while the core Altima sedan posted an increase of 11 percent. Year to date, the Nissan Group's sales are up 5.6 percent. All of the company's numbers are here.
Memphis-based Hunter Fan Co. has leased almost 30,000 square feet of flex space near Nashville International Airport for a new division that will make large fans for commercial and industrial customers. The company plans to hire 25 people in the next year and grow its local workforce to 100 by the end of 2018. Adam Sichko at the Business Journal has more details here.
"As we grow, we'll need more R&D engineers and more industrial designers. We'll need creative people in sales and marketing. Those folks are pretty widely available here, as compared to Memphis," Bredeson added. "If you're churning through those folks every six or 12 months, that gets to be devastatingly expensive for the company."
The West End headquarters staff of Caterpillar Financial Services looks set to shrink in the coming months after the leaders of the lender's parent company said they plan to cut $1.5 billion in annual costs, a move that will include the laying off at least 4,000 in the next 14 months as well as the potential closure or consolidation of up to 20 factories.
In a statement Thursday morning, Caterpillar's top executives said several of their customer segments — think mining and energy companies — have cut back on spending, which has forced them to trim their 2015 sales forecast by $1 billion to $48 billion, with 2016 expected to bring more top-line shrinkage. A Bloomberg Intelligence analyst labeled Cat's cost-cutting plan as "basically writing down next year."
A Cat Financial spokesman said details about job cuts in specific divisions such as Cat Financial, which houses hundreds of people in a mid-rise building located on West End Avenue (see here courtesy of Google Maps) are not being disclosed but that "all cost reduction actions will be global in nature and across our sectors."
The leaders of Noranda Aluminum Holding have their work cut out for them as they attempt to grow the Franklin-based company's shareholder equity and lift a share price that has lost more than 90 percent of its value (Ticker: NOR) over the past year. A big reason for that is that the global aluminum sector is struggling mightily under the weight of overproduction, which has pushed down prices by 25 percent since last September. China's overinvestment has played a huge role, but the problem isn't limited to the People's Republic.
More than 10 percent of smelting capacity outside of China, or 3.5 million tonnes of production, is running in the red with a combined LME and U.S. premium of $1,800 per tonne, according to Wood Mackenzie data from second-quarter results. On Friday, three-month aluminum was at $1,621, with a U.S. premium of $175 a tonne.
SEE ALSO: Our past coverage of Noranda
Robert W. Baird analyst Richard Eastman has downgraded shares of Clarcor to ‘neutral’ from ‘outperform’ after the Franklin-based filtration products maker reported worse-than-expected third-quarter profits. Eastman also has cut to $53 his price target for Clarcor, which closed Thursday’s trading (Ticker: CLC) at $48.39.
Executives at Louisiana-Pacific say they will not push to regain their wood license from the government of Quebec and thus have no plans to restart their oriented strand board mill in Chambord, north of Quebec City. Nashville-based LP ramped down the plant in 2008, and execs say the construction materials market still hasn't regained enough strength for them to consider restarting work there.
SEE ALSO: Want to practice your French? Here's another LP release reacting to the Quebec government's move to revoke the company's wood license.
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