Japanese automakers said they would suspend production at their North American plants due to the spread of the COVID19 new coronavirus.

This was in line with recent decisions announced by GM, Ford and FCA.

Toyota, Honda and Nissan announced separately they would shut their vehicle assembly and component production operations in the US, Canada and Mexico for two days from next Monday, as demand for new vehicles continued to weaken in the world's second largest auto market.

Toyota said during its two day stoppage it would disinfect all facilities to minimise any potential health problems.

The automaker also said it planned to suspend operations at vehicle and parts factories in an additional four countries in Europe from Wednesday, increasing the shutdown to six countries in that region.

Hyundai Motor on Thursday also said it would suspend operations at most of its plants in the US and Europe to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

It had already shut down its Alabama plant on 18 March after one of its employees tested positive for COVID19. 

Kia Motors halted operations at its Georgia plant on 19 March due to a lack of engines sourced from the group's Alabama plant.

It said it would consult with US health authorities before deciding when to resume operations at these factories.

The two South Korean automakers already halted production at two European plants, in the Czech Republic and Slovakia respectively, for two weeks between 23 March and 3 April, due to supply disruptions.

Hyundai's plant in Turkey remains operational for now.

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