Coronavirus disrupting global automotive industry

The spread of the coronavirus continues to affect all aspects of life in China, and is taking a particularly hard toll on industry. Some two dozen major trade fairs and industry conferences have been cancelled in China and the surrounding region, amid travel bans and contagion fears.

Safety concerns have affected supply chains, with the movement of both workers and freight. And that’s taking a major bite out of region’s critical automobile manufacturing sector.

The Chinese car industry had high hopes that it could use India’s 2020 auto expo to expand further into the lucrative Indian market. But the deadly coronavirus meant that most Chinese officials decided, it was better to stay home. The fair was then represented by their Indian employees.

Wuhan, where the virus originated is also the epicenter of auto industry. About 50 percent of city’s manufacturing relates to the car industry, producing components for cars around the world.

With the region in lockdown, automaker Fiat Chrysler has said that production of one of its European plants is at risk, as supply chains remain blocked.

Hyundai shuts down its Ulsan plant in South Korea

Hyundai has said that it has been forced to shut its factory in South Korea, after running out of wiring harnesses from China. Its Ulsan plant is known as the worlds largest in the world.

Majority of automakers including Volkswagen Group, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Renault, Tesla, Daimler and Ford have suspended production in China.

Mickey Levy, chief economist for Americas And Asia At Berenberg New York says that China has become the global hub for production, manufacturing and distribution. So, if workers are unable to go to work, factories are unable to produce. Its going to have a significant impact.

At least 24 provinces, municipalities and other regions in China, have ordered businesses to stay shut until the 10th of February. Companies hope that means the production can begin next week, but officials have urged caution, saying that the disruptions could last for longer than expected.

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