Geely vows greater commitment to mitigating future local risks
Published: Apr 14, 2020 10:03 PM

A view of Geely's first pure electric model Geometry A during the China International Industry Fair held in shanghai in September,2019 Photo: VCG

Geely, the largest private automaker in China, has vowed greater support for local suppliers where its factories are based, under efforts to cushion the coronavirus-induced impact on global supply chains, a company executive said.

Geely's vehicle plants in Ningbo, East China's Zhejiang Province kickstarted their resumption of work and production from mid-February. Hundreds of Geely's parts suppliers in Ningbo and other parts of Zhejiang also broadly resumed operations and production in late February, thanks to support from local government, Li Weiping, vice general manager of Zhejiang Geely Automobile Co, told the Global Times in an exclusive interview.

The company's suppliers in Central China's Hubei Province, in particular in Wuhan where COVID-19 was initially diagnosed and strict lockdowns were imposed, gradually restarted operations in mid-March, Li said, revealing a work resumption rate of over 90 percent in its factories.

The end of a 76-day lockdown in Wuhan last week signified China's effective containment of the virus, essentially defusing fears of domestic supply chain disruptions.

Still, the worrying spread of the COVID-19 pandemic outside of China poses tremendous risks to the global auto industry, according to Li.

"We have close partnerships with [suppliers] in Japan and South Korea. Based on our analysis of the outbreak spread and product procurement cycles, we have stockpiled [some items], but if the virus remains uncontainable and worsens, stable vehicle production could be at stake," he said.

Among efforts to mitigate virus-fueled risks are the search for domestic substitutes for overseas suppliers and the exploration of rail transport to counter the coronavirus impact on air and sea transportation, the Geely executive disclosed, adding that vehicle chip suppliers are gradually pushing for indigenous innovation alongside China's advancements in chip technology.

With its research and development facilities in Ningbo, Geely is set to build stronger supply chains close to its manufacturing bases to hedge future unexpected events such as the pandemic, he remarked.