By on April 17, 2020


The shutdown of Nissan’s U.S. manufacturing plants on March 20th was initially expected to last until April 6th. A good-enough timeline, one supposes, as Nissan (like all other automakers) waited to see exactly how bad the surging coronavirus pandemic would get… and how local and state governments would move to combat it.

You know the rest. April 6th came and went, as did all other early production restart dates in the industry, with no returning workers. Minding its constrained funds, Nissan laid off 10,000 U.S. workers on April 7th. Now, there’s a new return date — not actually a specific one, but one the automaker might actually stick to.

It seems two camps exist among U.S. auto players, and Nissan finds itself in the more cautious of the two. While many automakers have May 4th circled on their calendars, Nissan’s looking at perhaps two weeks beyond that (and maybe more), preferring a more cautious return to production.

The U.S. hosts two Nissan vehicle assembly plants in Smyrna, Tennessee and Canton, Mississippi, plus the massive Decherd Powertrain Plant in Tennessee. Nissan now says these sites will remain closed until mid-May.

“Due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nissan is further extending production downtime at all of its U.S. manufacturing facilities until mid-May. Some business-essential work that must be done on site will continue with enhanced safety measures,” the automaker said in a statement Thursday. “We will continue to monitor the situation closely and make adjustments as needed.”

Nissan’s financial misfortunes are well known around these parts. With a new CEO at the helm, the automaker had hoped to spend 2020 watching its new recovery plan slowly bear fruit, but the fast-moving pandemic put everything on ice. Recent reports claim Nissan will look to diminish its global presence and annual volume in the coming years in a bid for financial stability. On April 9th, a report claimed Nissan was on the hunt for $4.6 billion in credit to cover itself during the prolonged shutdown.

[Image: Nissan]

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6 Comments on “Nissan to Stay Offline a While Longer...”

  • avatar

    Ever since Renault bought Nissan, it’s just become a junk brand and everyone knows it. It wasn’t immediate, but it was clearly a downward decline. It really is a shame, they made some great vehicles and at one time were a worthy competitor to Honda and Toyota.

    Now I look at Nissan like I look at Chrysler.

    I see several car companies going under and Covid will have only sped it up a few years, but it was inevitable. If you make junk products, don’t be surprised if consumers stop buying.

    • 0 avatar

      Nissan interiors have really taken a downturn.

      The D40 Frontier V6 was a decent engine (as long as you opted for a 6-Speed Manual and not the Automatic, which is notoriously bad)…you just had to deal with cheap assembly…

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Trans itself was fine…It was the cooler in the radiator that would fail and allow coolant to mix with the transmission fluid with all sorts of bad results. You also had to avoid the VQ40’s with the bad timing chain tensioners and some other things that took way longer to work out than theu should have. And yes, look at that interior funny and it will gouge and stuff was rubbing off mine by 20k. Any after 2013 or so should have the bugs worked out, so long as you don’t mind a ride that looks like it did 250k miles in Fallujah.

  • avatar

    Nissan has really withdrawn from certain markets and bet big on others.

    As an example, Nissan Australia’s lineup no longer includes a single sedan and basically only has CUVs, SUVs and Utes. The 370Z, GT-R and Leaf are the only cars not in those 3 categories.

    Nissan Australia has also confirmed that the NV200 and Titan will not be imported here either.

    Mitsubishi has gone the same way too, not one sedan and almost all CUVs, SUVs and Utes, barring the Mirage Hatch. The Mirage sedan was cut in 2016.

    Both brands seem to have gotten worse and shrunk in some ways over time…

  • avatar

    Could Nissan’s level of unsold inventory and the uncertainty of the auto market’s recovery have something to do with the delay in plant re-openings? Dealers didn’t stop selling cars, people stopped shopping for and buying them. once the quarantine is lifted, people may have other priorities before considering a car purchase.

  • avatar

    This one year only body/engine combo on the Frontier is going to end up becoming a very rare bird at this rate.

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