Carmakers impaired by sudden supply disruption caused by coronavirus

By Yin Yeping Source:Global Times Published: 2020/2/6 22:45:57

File photo: VCG

As China, the world's largest car manufacturer, is battling a coronavirus outbreak, international carmakers have had to adapt to the situation.

Hyundai Motor's (Hyundai's) resumption of work will be arranged and adjusted according to China's regulations, a source close to the company told the Global Times on Thursday. Hyundai has reportedly shut down its plants in many places due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, including one in South Korea.

Hyundai will suspend production in South Korea as the coronavirus assault has disrupted the supply of auto parts, becoming the first major carmaker to do so outside China, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

 "In the short term, some related companies have delayed the resumption of work, which has had a certain impact on our supply chain," a source close to Hyundai Motor told the Global Times on Thursday.

Meanwhile, although there will be some short-term impact, the company will respond positively according to the actual situation and adjust plans and targets accordingly, which will not affect their production and development in the medium and long terms, according to their statement send to the Global Times.

"In terms of enterprise production, a comprehensive response plan should be made according to the development of the epidemic, so as to minimize the impact of the epidemic," the source said.

In addition to Hyundai, other auto manufacturers have also encountered difficulties caused by the epidemic.

A person close to Tesla told the Global Times on Wednesday that the company has been asked by local authorities to temporarily shut down its Shanghai-based Gigafactory 3 over worries about possible coronavirus infection.

Meanwhile, Tesla's vice president Tao Lin said on Sina Weibo that they will postpone the delivery of cars to after the Spring Festival holidays or early February. She did not disclose a revised delivery time.

A customer service representative at Tesla said on Thursday that all stores in Shanghai are now closed but cars can be bought on the company's official website. "If you order now, the goods can be delivered in April or May, but it depends on how the fight against the coronavirus fares," he said.

Xu Haidong, assistant secretary-general of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers told the Global Times on Thursday that the global supply chain is now disrupted by the sudden attack of the coronavirus originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province.

"As the area where the epidemic is located, Wuhan is also the place where the supply chain is relatively concentrated, and the resumption of work at supply chain enterprises will be delayed for a protracted period, which will impact a broader spectrum of the auto industry," Xu said.

The impact of the outbreak on auto companies certainly exists, but it will be relatively temporary as some companies are returning to work, Xu said. "As long as the supply chain in China recovers, so will all the carmakers," he added.


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