In the context of the continuous expansion of the novel coronavirus pneumonia infection, domestic automobile production has also been affected. Because the supply of parts from China is blocked, Nissan’s vehicle plant in Kyushu will suspend production. Japan’s imports of auto parts from China account for more than 30% of the total imports, which has a great impact. Some Japanese companies import basic parts and components around engines, and various parts manufacturers have to deal with this situation.
“Japan uses a lot of Chinese parts and components. It takes time to check inventory in detail,” a Nissan executive said. The Nissan Kyushu plant mainly produces the “Serena” SUV marketed in Japan and SUVs that are mostly exported to North America. The shutdown of the plant is believed to be due to the chaotic logistics network, but some parts themselves have also become difficult to purchase.
A component manufacturer said that it is difficult to purchase some electronic equipment used in hybrid vehicles (HV) from China. “(Nissan) seems to be discussing whether it can be purchased in Japan instead.” Purchasing chaos may also be prolonged.
According to the statistics of the Japan International Trade Center, Japan imported US$3 billion of auto parts from China in 2019, which is about 10 times that of the outbreak of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome, SARS) in 2003. Although it accounts for less than 2% of the Japanese auto parts market of approximately 22 trillion yen as a whole, about 37% of Japan’s imported parts (in 2019) are imported from China, and China’s share is higher than that of the United States. Most of them are springs, fiber resin parts and materials, which are compact and low in transportation costs.
Companies in some parts of China have begun to resume work, but Honda said on February 11 that its passenger car plant in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China plans to resume work after the 17th. Although some employees started to work normally on the 10th, Guangzhou requires companies to declare corresponding measures to prevent the spread of new pneumonia, and it takes a certain time to prepare for production. Honda has previously stated that it “hopes to resume work as soon as possible.”