Automakers and suppliers are attempting to stay ahead of the spreading coronavirus. But the scale of the illness worldwide continues to grow. Here are some of the measures that automakers and suppliers took last week.
- Honda Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co. and PSA Group all responded to the outbreak by withdrawing staff and evacuating most of their nonlocal employees from China.
- In an earnings call, Tesla CEO Elon Musk told investors that there would be a one-and-a-half-week delay in Tesla’s Shanghai Model 3 production because of the coronavirus situation that “may slightly impact profitability” in the first quarter. Shanghai is more than 500 miles from Wuhan, where the outbreak started.
- Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner said the coronavirus could impact the supplier’s global supply chain, which is heavily dependent on China. Bosch has two plants making steering systems and thermotechnologies in Wuhan, with around 800 employees there.
- Canadian supply giant Magna International, which operates 68 facilities in China and employs nearly 19,000 there, extended the New Year holiday at several China facilities until Sunday, Feb. 9, and issued a travel ban to China on a precautionary basis, a North American spokeswoman said. Magna is also issuing employee health screenings and workplace hygiene measures at its China facilities. The company did not identify those plants or their locations.
- Tata Motors said the outbreak could hamper Jaguar Land Rover production in China. The epidemic could impact Tata’s profit margin, forecast at around 3 percent for the JLR unit in fiscal 2020, Reuters reported.
- German heating, air-conditioning and roof systems supplier Webasto canceled all employee trips to China for at least two weeks following notice that at least seven of its employees were infected, five of them in Germany.
- Supplier Continental did not initially issue travel restrictions upon news of the virus but later changed its approach, telling employees that “travel from and to China that is absolutely necessary for business purposes is permissible only in isolated cases and when it has been specifically approved.”
- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles spokesman Michael Palese said the automaker could not yet speculate about the business impact of the virus since China remains on holiday. “All business travel to China is delayed until further notice,” Palese said. “We continue to monitor the situation closely.”
- Adient CEO Douglas Del Grosso told investors that “it’s too early to forecast” any impact to the company from travel restrictions and extended office shutdowns in China.
- Tao Liu, global COO of supplier Nexteer Automotive, told Automotive News in a statement that the company was assessing potential production and supply chain disruptions. A spokeswoman for the Chinese-owned company said, “There are not any aspects of this situation that are unique to Nexteer as the entire industry — OEMs and the global supply chain — monitors this unfolding, dynamic situation.”
Renault will extend a shutdown at its factory in China's Wuhan until Feb. 13, in line with the Chinese government's guidance over the coronavirus for workers in the city and extended Lunar New year holidays, a spokeswoman said on Monday. The Renault's plant, where it employs around 2,000 people, had been set to reopen on Feb. 10.