Nissan's Fukuoka plant has an annual production capacity of 530,000 vehicles. Credit: Japan Today.

Nissan Motors’ Fukuoka plant, which produces the Serena minivan for the Japanese market and the Rogue, company’s best-selling sport utility vehicle in the US, will be shut from Feb. 14, according to The Paper and reported by Yicai Global.

Nissan Motor said that it would be difficult to source parts from China because of the novel coronavirus epidemic, and so its plant will have to shut down temporarily, the report said. The Fukuoka plant has an annual production capacity of 530,000 vehicles.

Its plants in China’s Guangdong and Liaoning provinces are ready to restart production as early as Feb. 17, while the restart dates for other assembly lines have not been determined, Nissan said.

At the request of the Chinese government, Dongfeng Nissan resumed normal operations after the Lunar New Year holiday, but considering the need to control the virus epidemic, it has asked staff to work from home, the report said.

A resumption schedule for its factories will be set out in an orderly manner according to the supply chain and local government requirements, the report said.

A Nissan production line for exported cars will also be suspended from Feb. 17, making the company Japan’s first automaker to stop production due to the epidemic, according to a previous report by the Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspaper.

The suspension of Nissan’s Japanese plant operations may affect the output of about 3,000 vehicles, which highlights the dependence of Japanese carmakers on Chinese suppliers, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun added.

Nissan is not the first global automaker to face production stoppages due to the epidemic.

Earlier in South Korea, Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors and Renault subsidiary Renault Samsung Motors all announced the closure of domestic plants due to the interruption of Chinese parts supply, The Paper reported.

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