Nissan has announced that production at its Sunderland plant has been suspended as the coronavirus crisis deepens.
It made the revelation just a day after Vauxhall’s parent firm said it was to temporarily shut down output at its Ellesmere Port and Luton plants.
Nissan, which employs around 7,000 workers at the Wearside plant, said other action could follow given the scale of the disruption to the global economy though it refused to say whether that included the possibility of things like job losses.
Its statement said: “”Vehicle production has been suspended today in Nissan Sunderland Plant.
“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”.
A growing number of car plants are closing down across Europe as measures to fight the spread of COVID-19 take effeect.
The world’s largest car manufacturer said on Tuesday that it was preparing to close its factories to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Volkswagen warned that it expected 2020 to be a difficult year, as it announced production would temporarily cease at plants in Spain, Portugal, Slovakia and Italy before the end of this week.
Most of the company’s other factories will begin preparing to suspend production, probably for two or three weeks, VW said.
Chief executive Herbert Diess added: “Given the present significant deterioration in the sales situation and the heightened uncertainty regarding parts supplies to our plants, production is to be suspended in the near future at factories operated by group brands.”
Meanwhile, as the virus comes under control in China, VW has reopened most of its factories there.
Chief financial officer Frank Witter said: “2020 will be a very difficult year.
“The corona pandemic presents us with unknown operational and financial challenges. At the same time, there are concerns about sustained economic impacts.”
The German car maker owns the Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Ducati, Lamborghini, Porsche, Seat and Skoda brands
It comes after reports that Britain had asked manufacturers including Honda and Ford to help make health equipment such as ventilators.