TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp. on Wednesday said that operations at its plants in Japan may be affected by supply chain issues linked to the new coronavirus outbreak in the coming weeks, as the global outbreak gathers pace.
The automaker, which operates 16 vehicle and components sites in Japan, said that it would decide on how to continue operations at its domestic plants from the week of March 9, after keeping output normal through the week of March 2.
Plants may be affected by potential supply disruptions in China as some plants in the epicenter of the virus outbreak remain are unable to produce and transport goods, while some plants remain closed under orders by regional authorities.
"We are receiving parts from China as normal for the moment, but we will assess the situation after the week of March 2," a Toyota spokeswoman told Reuters.
Japan is a major site of production for the company, accounting for nearly half of the 10.7 million cars its sold globally in 2019.
The automaker also said it would cancel all non-essential travel for employees in Japan, the latest move by a global company to curb operations as the speed of the virus outbreak appears to gather pace.
Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is flagging the spread of the coronavirus and potential for a worldwide pandemic as a new risk factor for its business in China and other global operations.
In a regulatory filing on Tuesday, FCA said epidemics like the coronavirus pose a threat to its business, although the automaker added it is too soon to determine how seriously it will affect consumer demand and its manufacturing capacity.
"The ultimate severity of the coronavirus outbreak is uncertain at this time and therefore we cannot predict the impact it may have on our end markets and our operations; however, the effect on our results could be material and adverse," FCA said in its annual report.
The company said disruption to the parts supply chain has forced it to temporarily close a factory in Europe and that the Chinese auto market has "begun to experience reduced demand."
The coronavirus, which is believed to have emanated from the Chinese city of Wuhan, has spread around the globe to places as far away as Italy, which has been hard hit in recent days.
One epicenter is the Italian regional district of Lombardy, which borders the district of Piedmont where FCA is headquartered and operates two vehicle assembly plants.
Reuters and Bloomberg contributed to this report.