Nissan cuts more shifts at Japan car plants due to low demand

In May, the company reported an aggressive restructuring plan after posting its first annual loss in 11 years

FILE PHOTO: A Nissan logo is seen at the Tokyo Motor Show, October 24, 2019. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun/File Photo

Automaker Nissan said it will cut more shifts at its assembly plants in Japan due to the falling demand, as the automaker struggles to recover from a drop in sales triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement on its website, the company said it will cancel all night shifts at one of its production sites in Kyushu, southern Japan, from June 29 to July 31. Night shifts at its other Kyushu site will be stopped from July 20 to July 31, it added.

In addition, Nissan will stop output at its plant in Oppama, Kanagawa prefecture, on two days in July, while its factory in Tochigi prefecture will be closed over eight days next month, the statement said.

The automaker's plants are normally closed on weekends.

The people with direct knowledge of the issue said that night shifts at the Oppama plant would also be cancelled from late June.

A spokeswoman said there were no night shifts scheduled at the plant at the moment.

Nissan's latest production cuts come as global automakers are reeling from plunging sales amid plant closures in many countries earlier this year to curb the spread of the virus. Nissan has been slashing output at home and abroad since February, beginning in China.

The Japanese manufacturer is taking a particularly big hit as sales and profitability have been deteriorating even before the virus outbreak. Last month it unveiled an aggressive restructuring plan after posting its first annual loss in 11 years.

The latest output cut would be another big hit for its Kyushu plant. Much of the plant's production is exported.

The plant makes the Rogue, Nissan's top-selling SUV crossover model, whose sales have slowed ahead of plans to launch a new version this year.