Nissan and Toyota have announced that they will temporarily close the UK plant in the face of coronavirus.
Nissan said its Sunderland plant — where Qashqai, leaf and juke is made — will be closed from Wednesday, March 18 until the end of the week and it will monitor the situation beyond that.
The plant is the UK’s largest car factory and employs about 4,000 people. Nissan has not said if a temporary shutdown will cause job losses but warns that further measures may be necessary.
Both of Toyota’s facilities — in Burnston and Deeside — have also been closed with immediate effect and until further notice. The closures are part of a broader suspension of production at all of Toyota’s European sites, which also include factories in France, Poland, the Czech Republic and Turkey.
In a statement, Toyota said: “With an acceleration of coronaviruses in various European countries or regions and associated” lock-down “measures taken by various national and regional authorities, an uncertain short-term sales approach and difficulties in logistics and supply chain Is being felt and will increase over the next week.
“TME [Toyota Motors Europe] has consequently decided to organize a progressive suspension of its vehicle and engine /
The announcements came at the same time as Ford and Volkswagen confirmed they would close all their European production facilities in the coming days, and a day after Vauxhall suspended production at its Ellesmere port and Luton factory.
Simultaneously, Vauxhall’s parent group PSA announced that it was closing its facilities in France, Spain, Germany, Poland, Portugal and Slovakia and SEAT, Nissan, Renault, Ferrari and Lamborghini, two days in response to the outbreak Has also announced plant closures in Spain and Italy for two weeks.
Manufacturers have been hit by a combination of falling demand for vehicles and problems with supply chains as other businesses and factories are forced to cut or halt production.
Ford’s closures affect all its car, van and engine manufacturing sites in continental Europe and will take effect from Thursday, March 19 and “continue for a number of weeks.”
Ford’s President of Europe Stuart Rowley said, although the impact of coronavirus on our facilities has thankfully been limited so far, its impact on our employees, dealers, suppliers and customers as well as the entire European society is unprecedented. “Due to the dramatic impact this ongoing crisis is having on the European market and the supplier industry — together with recent action by countries to restrict all but necessary travel and personal contact — we are temporarily in our main continental Europe There are production breaks at manufacturing sites. “
The closure of Volkswagen affects eight passenger car facilities in Germany, Slovakia, Spain and Portugal, as well as six component factories in Germany. It said that the closure would be a gradual process starting on Thursday, 19 March and all the plants are expected to be closed for at least two weeks.
Ralph Branstetter, chief operating officer of Volkswagen Passenger Car Brand, said: “The spread of coronavirus in Europe is adversely affecting demand conditions. With this, it is becoming increasingly difficult to supply outsourced parts to our plants. Since we decided to run production down in a coordinated manner from the end of late shift on Thursday. We believe That are becoming increasingly concerned about the proliferation of Corona, which will also benefit our employees.
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