• Kyodo, JIJI

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Nissan Motor Co. will pull out of local production in Indonesia due to falling vehicle sales in the country, a source close to the matter said Wednesday.

The third-largest carmaker in Japan already halted production in January in the Southeast Asian country, including the construction of vehicles for emerging markets under the Datsun brand.

The decision to withdraw from vehicle production in Indonesia is part of restructuring measures the automaker is taking to cut costs amid a deterioration in earnings, the source said.

Nissan is especially feeling the pinch because its current crisis has been exacerbated by the arrest of its former boss Carlos Ghosn and his escape to Lebanon.

Nissan plans to continue vehicle sales in Indonesia while considering to use the Indonesian plant to produce engines for Mitsubishi Motors Corp.

Carmakers worldwide are struggling to find new ways to do business as car sales decline amid changing lifestyles. The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak is also adding fuel to the fire, causing disruptions in global supply chains.

Toyota Motor Corp. has announced the closure of its automobile assembly plant in France starting Wednesday through the end of this month amid the spread of the new coronavirus in Europe.

The leading carmaker has also decided to suspend operations at its assembly plant in Portugal for two weeks from Monday this week.

In 2019, Toyota manufactured 224,000 units of its Yaris compact car at the French plant. The Portuguese plant has capacity to annually produce 9,800 units of the Land Cruiser SUV.

The French plant closure came after the French government Monday announced a ban on leaving home for nonessential reasons.

The European market accounts for about 11 percent of Toyota’s global sales of new automobiles. Its hybrid vehicles, among others, have been enjoying solid demand there.

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