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Automotive manufacturers Groupe PSA, Renault, Volkswagen, FCA and Ferrari have announced they are temporarily suspending their operations in Europe due to the acceleration of the COVID-19 spread and supply chain disruptions. It is estimated the sector employs 14 million people in Europe.
Groupe PSA said it will be closing 14 vehicle production sites located in France, Spain, Germany, Portugal and the UK, until March 27. “Due to the acceleration observed in recent days of serious COVID-19 cases close to certain production sites, supply disruptions from major suppliers, as well as the sudden decline in the automobile markets, the Chairman of the Executive Board with the members of the crisis unit, decided the principle of the closure of the vehicle production sites”, said PSA. The French Group also cited it as experiencing a disruption from some of its suppliers. Similarly, Groupe Renault announced it has suspended all production activities on 12 French industrial sites, which employ 18,000 people, and said the continuity of production activities at the Group's plants in other European countries depends on the situation in each country. The automotive Group said it plans to restart production activities “as soon as conditions permit and will implement appropriate measures to respond effectively to commercial demand”.
FCA Group said it continues the implementation of a comprehensive set of actions in response to the COVID-19 emergency, which enables the Group to effectively respond to the interruption in market demand by ensuring the optimisation of supply. The majority of its manufacturing plants in Europe have been shut down until March 27, including six in Italy, as well as plants in Serbia and Poland. After closing its main plant in Wolfsburg, Germany, Volkswagen said it was preparing to suspend operations at its plant in Bratislava, Slovakia, as well as Chattanooga in the U.S..
On March 14, luxury sportscar manufacturer Ferrari also announced it was suspending production in Maranello and Modena, Italy, until March 27. The company said it was “experiencing the first serious supply chain issues, which no longer allow for continued production”.