Nissan to Stay Offline a While Longer

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

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]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Apr 17, 2020

    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.

  • Hummer Hummer on Apr 17, 2020

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

  • Lou_BC Ironic, the Honda Ridgeline, a truck that every truck guy loves to hate is in 6th place.
  • 28-Cars-Later I keep forgetting I own it, but the space look on the ext cab reminds me of my 'Yota pickup of the same model year. I'm pretty sure there is some vintage of Hilux which features the same looking ext cab window (maybe '88?) its a shame these things are mostly gone and when available are $1,000,000,000 [INSERT CURRENT CURRENCY].
  • Sayahh Imagine if Ford had Toyota design and build a Mustang engine. It will last over 300k miles! (Skip turbo and make it naturally aspirated.) Maybe Yamaha will help tune it...
  • Sobhuza Trooper Isuzu's crime was to build some damn good trucks.Shame on them.
  • El scotto Listen, unless you were Lord Headly-Stempmoor or such when you got off the off the boat, boot in Canada, you got the short end of the stick. People got on the boat, these days a plane, to escape famine, becoming cannon fodder in yet another stupid war, or the government thought it was A-OK to let soldiers kill you. Juneteenth is just a way to right one of the more bad ideas in the American experiment. Instead we have commenters who were buying tater chips and diet soda at Wal-Mart and got all butt-hurt because they heard someone who wasn't speaking English. I'm going to go fix a couple of frankfurters with salsa and guacamole and wash them down with a lager or three