TOKYO -- A steel shortage at Nissan Motor Co.'s Japanese plants will delay production of a small number of vehicles for the United States and Europe.
The shortage caused Nissan to halt operations at three plants for five days: Nov. 29-30 and Dec. 6-8. Production of 25,000 vehicles will be delayed.
They include 820 units of the FX35 and FX45 for the United States and 2,240 units of the X-Trail, Pickup and Patrol for Europe. For Japan, 16,000 new or popular models such as the Tiida compact will be delayed. The remaining 5,940 vehicles were bound for other overseas markets.
But Nissan will keep high-margin products such as the Murano and Fuga in production, at the expense of some compacts such as the Tiida and Cube.
The automaker attributes the supply shortage mainly to stronger demand than expected for Japan-market models. It plans to make up for the loss in early January by procuring steel from suppliers outside Japan.
Posco, South Korea's largest steel maker, said it will supply steel to Nissan early next year. Two weeks ago, the Korean steelmaker received "an emergency request" from Nissan to supply steel to the Japanese automaker, said Posco spokesman Oh Dong-Ho. But it won't meet all of Nissan needs, he said, declining to discuss the volume of steel it will ship to Nissan.
Korean-produced steel could help the three plants - Oppama, Kyushu and Nissan Shatai - to raise output in early January to make up for the production loss with overtime work and weekend shifts.
You may e-mail Yuzo Yamaguchi at
You may e-mail Peter Chang at