NISSAN halted its Sunderland assembly lines today because of the coronavirus pandemic.
A spokesman said: ‘Further measures are currently under study as we assess supply chain disruption and the sudden drop in market demand caused by the Covid-19 emergency.’
It employs some 7,000 people there, and the cessation of production in the north-east of England, which is for an unspecified length of time, follows Vauxhall’s plants in Ellesmere Port and Luton, which are closing to March 27 as part of a Europe-wide shutdown by owner Groupe PSA. The Ellesmere Port factory shut today and the Luton site will close on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Volkswagen is also preparing to stop production at most of its plants in Europe for a fortnight as a result of the virus, and Ford says it will be ceasing manufacturing at its main sites on the continent from Thursday ‘for a number of weeks’.
There was a glimmer of hope, though, from VW, as it added that its Chinese business was recovering as a result of the number of new coronavirus cases in the country falling.