Nissan blames COVID for Sunderland production line disruption

January 21, 2021

Nissan says it is to "pause" a production line at its Sunderland plant on Friday because of coronavirus disruption.

The Japanese carmaker said delays to the shipping of parts from its European and global supply chain meant it would not produce Qashqai or electric Leaf models.

It affects one of two production lines in operation at the factory.

A spokesman said: "Production on Line One at the plant has been paused due to supply chain disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We anticipate that production will resume on Monday next week."

It is not the only carmaker, let alone firm operating in the UK, to report supply chain disruption over the past few months.

Honda has blamed "global supply delays" for several shutdowns at its Swindon plant in the run-up to, and after, Christmas.

Global shipping has been hit by the pandemic, with containers and goods stuck in the wrong ports.

The government has denied that delays at UK ports this year have had a Brexit link despite hauliers, fishermen and meat suppliers being among firms complaining of additional and unworkable red tape over exports to both the EU and Northern Ireland since the end of the transition period on 1 January.

Nissan was also among the most vocal in warning that any tariffs arising from the UK's vote to leave the EU would place Sunderland's future competitiveness in jeopardy.

Stocks of government PPE (personal protection equipment) purchases were blamed for a perfect storm of congestion at Felixstowe in the run-up to Christmas as they coincided with the Christmas rush and pre-Brexit stockpiling.

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