Nissan extends the closure of Smyrna | Automotive News
Nissan’s U.S. production continues to feel the effects of a COVID-19 outbreak at a microchip supplier factory in Malaysia this month.
The situation in Malaysia had already closed the Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, until August 30. But that hiatus will be extended until September 12, affecting production of key models, including the Nissan Rogue and Pathfinder crossovers and the Infiniti QX60.
Additionally, the Nissan plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico will be inactive until September 5, which will impact the Versa, Kicks and Sentra models.
In a note sent to dealers on Friday evening and obtained by Automotive News, Nissan said it expects US production to be cut by about 36 percent in September.
Including the newly announced downtime, Nissan is expected to lose 157,000 North American production units this year, according to AutoForecast Solutions (AFS).
On August 10, Nissan announced that Smyrna’s operations would be inactive for two weeks due to the disruption at the chip supplier. Nissan has not identified the supplier.
Like other automakers, Nissan has had its share of production line disruptions this year due to a shortage of microchip allowances. But these shortages are mainly the result of miscalculations of demand by limited-capacity chipmakers and automakers with uncertain forecasts for 2021.
AFS estimates that the chip shortage has resulted in the loss of 6.9 million vehicles from the production plans of automakers around the world.
Many in the industry remained convinced that the chip crisis was slowly abating as the COVID-19 pandemic gradually abated and supply chains resumed operations.
However, a resurgence of COVID-19 infections, including the spread of the delta variant of the virus, poses new challenges for the auto industry.