Nissan Motor restarts all car plants in China amid coronavirus outbreak
TOKYO, NNA – Nissan Motor Corp. resumed operation on Friday at a car plant in Hubei Province, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in China, following permission from local authorities last week.
The move marked the major Japanese automaker’s restart of all its car factories in the world’s largest automobile market. Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. had begun operation of all of their factories in China earlier, according to a Kyodo News report.
Nissan had planned to run the factory again on Feb. 24 in Xiangyang in the central province which encompasses Wuhan, the origin of the deadly new coronavirus. But it postponed the schedule in accordance with a provincial government order, resulting in about a one-and-a-half month suspension at the Xiangyang factory, the report said.
Nissan had resumed operation of car factories in the southern province of Guangdong and other areas in the country. But it suffered an 80.3 percent year-on-year plunge in new vehicle sales in February, the biggest fall ever for the Japanese carmaker in China, as dealerships were unable to reopen due to the viral crisis, according to the report.
The slump in China sales is likely to weigh heavily on its earnings this year. The company logged a group net loss for the first time in 11 years in the October-December quarter of 2019 due to sluggish performance in Japan and the United States, the report said.