Nissan’s division in Australia has confirmed that it will outsource its parts warehousing and associated logistics functions to Ceva Logistics from August this year. The multi-year contract covers activity in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.

In a statement the company said: “Nissan Australia is making this change after a comprehensive review into its parts warehousing and logistics operations, which concluded that the company’s competitiveness in this specialist function can only be improved by significant investments in areas such as distribution and IT infrastructure, property upgrades to meet increasingly stringent safety, technical and environmental compliance, and other major investments to improve expertise and processes for improved performance and efficiency.”

The decision means 58 job losses for Nissan’s existing warehouse staff, though the company said that those affected have been offered “assistance relating to re-employment outside Nissan along with other related support services”. The majority of the redundancies will be at the Dandenong South facility in Victoria.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) has criticised the move by Nissan to outsource the work. In a statement it said: “The announcement has mystified the 58 workers at the warehouse, following a statement from Nissan in April that demand for its parts around the world meant that it was actually expecting to recruit more workers to keep up with parts supply.”

The union said it would continue to lobby the federal government to release funds from the Automotive Transformation Scheme to secure the long-term future of automotive parts manufacturers and suppliers.

Ceva has recently opened a multifunctional 166,000 sq.m facility at Truganina, west of Melbourne. The company would not confirm whether the activity at the Dandenong South facility would be moved there but confirmed that it would manage the warehousing needs for Nissan from locations in New South Wales, Queensland, Western  Australia and Victoria.

In April this year, Nissan Australia Casting announced that it would continue to make parts beyond 2020 for Nissan’s global production facilities, a move which ran counter to the litany of companies that have announced, over the last couple of years, that they are pulling manufacturing out of the country.