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Nissan first to halt Japanese plant over coronavirus issue

A shortage of Chinese parts is being blamed for the temporary production halt.

Nissan Kyushu plant entrance
Located in the Fukuoka Prefecture, Nissan's Kyushu plant will halt due to coronavirus-related parts shortages.
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Nissan will reportedly suspend auto production at a Kyushu plant owing to parts shortages stemming from the coronavirusoutbreak. The company is the first automaker in Japan to reveal such a temporary stoppage at one of its domestic plants owing to the global health crisis. 

According to Japan's Kyodo News, Nissan's Fukuoka-Prefecture plant is facing the Friday shutdown because it has been unable to get auto parts shipped from China. Additionally, a vehicle production line earmarked for export vehicles will also reportedly be halted. Nissan USA reps reached for comment did not yet have information on what models will be affected by the stoppage, but the company does not expect a significant impact on North America's vehicle supply. "Due to supply shortages of parts from China, Nissan Kyushu in Japan will carry out temporary production adjustments on Feb. 14 and 17," said a brand spokesperson.

Globally, Nissan is hardly the first car company to face coronavirus-related production issues: automakers such as Tesla, Hyundai and Kia previously announced stoppages attributed to the pandemic. Nissan's shutdown is the latest in a string of similar announcements that have drawn into stark relief how interconnected, interdependent and vulnerable the auto industry's global supply chain really is.

In addition to this newly announced shutdown, Nissan has also reportedly waylaid planned production restarts at four of its plants in China, factories which had previously been stopped in observance of the Asian nation's Lunar New Year festivities.

It's estimated that this coronavirus-related shutdown will likely affect the production of about 3,000 new vehicles. It is unclear whether Nissan will attempt to make up for the production shortfall once production resumes.

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Update, 10:26 a.m. PT: Adds statement and additional information from Nissan.