Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) halted production at its assembly line in Serbia amid a shortage of auto part supplies from China caused by the coronavirus outbreak, according to local media. The Kragujevac plant in Serbia produces passenger car and expected to resume operations late February. Total production of the plant was 40,000 units in 2019. This is the first plant in Europe to have idled production due to the virus. Disruption in delivery of auto components is likely to hurt many European makers for the next few weeks.
China exports about $70bn worth car parts and accessories globally and the US consumes roughly 20pc of it. GM Motors has ruled out the impact of supply chain disruption on its production. The company is sorting out ways to ship auto parts out of China amid the quarantine and has leased two cargo planes to improve shipments, according to Detroit Bureau.
Saic Volkswagen (China) pushed back reopening of some operations to Feb 24 on coronavirus concerns, while production resumed at some plants of FAW-Volkswagen, Volkswagen’s joint venture with China-based FAW Group.
South Korean carmakers are on track to normalise production by the end of this week. Suppliers in China have partially resumed processes last week after a prolonged Lunar New Year. Companies such as Hyundai Motors, Renault, Samsung Motors are still facing issues in sourcing parts from China and they plan to adjust production depending on supplies. Hyundai and Kia Motors have resumed production at their domestic plants last week and are sourcing auto components from Southeast Asia, according to local media reports. In the meanwhile, the automakers wait for China to return to full production potential.
Fighting the virus
SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile has built 500,000/day mask production unit to help the region and industries in its neighbourhood return to normalcy. The unit has donated 1mn masks to local authorities. Auto companies have generously donated money to help authorities provided healthcare and assistance to people in the affection region.