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Another COVID-19-inspired move, Japanese multinational automobile maker, Nissan, has closed the doors of its factories in Africa.
Not just Africa, but its businesses in the Middle East as well as India are also going on an indefinite sabbatical. Nevertheless, the company says its office staff in these regions will be working from home for the meantime.
According to Nissan, the move falls in line with the advice and guidance of world governments against the coronavirus pandemic. This is to safeguard staff, customers and the general public as countries across the globe take economic hits unlike any other.
Production activities in its Alliance plant located in Chennai, India, halted on Monday this week, to remain so until further notice. Now, Nissan’s Rosslyn plant in Pretoria, South Africa, as well as its facility in 6th October City, Giza, Egypt, will put manufacturing on pause for the next two weeks.
Nissan’s suspension of production in Egypt and South Africa aligns with both country’s measures to inhibit more spread of the pandemic, COVID-19.
For instance, yesterday, the Egyptian government announced the execution of a night-time curfew. It will last for the next 15 days starting from today (Wednesday), and the country’s active cases are at 328.
On the South African side of the rhyme, President Ramaphosa has announced that the country will go into a national lockdown effective today (Thursday) midnight. At 709, the Southern African country has the most cases of coronavirus in Africa.
Interestingly, earlier this month, Managing Director of Nissan Motor Egypt S.A.E, Mike Whitfield, said that: “Egypt is the door to Africa”. But Whitfield’s bigger picture is that the African continent is the last frontier market for the global automotive industry.
He noted that the road to achieving new automotive opportunities in Africa is linked to the auto ecosystems and regional plays.
“There is huge opportunity ahead of auto industry in Egypt with bold economic programs, accessibility to large key markets – Geo. and T.As, and government vision on industrialization,” he added.
Nissan officially opened in South Africa in 1966, with a factory that was initially a free assembly plant for the South African market.
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