Nissan to halt production at Japan factory due to coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: A Nissan logo is pictured at Brussels Motor Show, Belgium, January 9, 2020. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

TOKYO (Reuters) - Nissan Motor Co 7201.T will temporarily halt production at its plant in Kyushu, southwestern Japan, due to the coronavirus, the Japanese automaker said on Monday, as the outbreak starts to strain the global supply chain.

In a statement, Nissan, the first automaker to halt production at a plant in Japan because of the outbreak, said that output would be affected on Friday and Feb. 17, due to supply shortages of parts from China.

The stoppage could impact production of around 3,000 vehicles, the Nikkei newspaper reported said, underlining the extent to which manufacturers in the world’s third-largest economy are reliant on China for supplies.

Nissan’s Kyushu plant produces models including the Serena minivan for the Japanese market and the Rogue SUV crossover, Nissan’s top-selling car in the United States. It has an annual capacity of 530,000 vehicles.

Two production lines at the Kyushu plant would be halted on Feb. 14, the Nikkei said, adding that another line which mainly cars for export, would be stopped on Feb.17.

Nissan said it was preparing to restart production in China at the earliest from Feb. 17 at its plants in Huadu, Guangdong Province and Dalian, Liaoning Province, while restart dates for other plants had yet to be confirmed.

The coronavirus outbreak - declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization - has disrupted Chinese manufacturing and that is having an effect on plants abroad.

In South Korea, Hyundai Motor 005380.KS, Kia Motors 000270.KS and Renault subsidiary RSM have all announced closures citing disruption to supply of parts from China.

Reporting by David Dolan and Maki Shiraki; writing by David Dolan; editing by Jason Neely and Louise Heavens