Nissan Motor Co is cutting 12,500 jobs after its quarterly profit was nearly wiped out.

The company has revealed it is in a crisis brought about by sluggish sales and rising costs.

The automaker is still attempting to recover from a financial misconduct scandal surrounding its ousted chairman Carlos Ghosn.

Nissan says the job cuts will be completed by 2022, alongside a reduction in global production capacity by about 10 per cent.

In 2018, Nissan had 138,000 employees globally.

Its first-quarter operating profit has plunged 98.5 per cent to 1.6 billion yen ($21.25 million) slugged by mounting costs of vehicle discounts to keep up with rivals in the US.

Years of heavy discounting has cheapened the company’s brand image and led to low vehicle resale values.

It all adds to the workload of Hiroto Saikawa, Nissan's embattled chief executive, who has been trying to improve the company's performance amid the Ghosn scandal.

Former chairman Carlos Ghosn has denied charges of financial misconduct in his push to aggressively grow market share during his time as chief executive.