Mumbai: Leading passenger car manufacturers in Europe – Groupe PSA, Groupe Renault and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Monday announced closure of their respective production sites in response to the accelerating impact of the China virus pandemic.
PSA, which is Europe’s second largest car manufacturer, has announced closure of all major production plants across Europe until 27 March.
“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," were quoted as the key reasons in the company’s official statement.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. or FCA Group said in a statement on Monday that its subsidiaries FCA Italy and Maserati will temporarily suspend production across the majority of their European manufacturing units.
“The temporary suspension, which will be in effect through March 27, 2020, continues the implementation of a comprehensive set of actions in response to the Covid-19 emergency and enables the Group to effectively respond to the interruption in market demand by ensuring the optimization of supply," it said in a note released earlier on Monday.
FCA said that the company is working with its vendors across the supply chain and business partners to ensure readiness to restore the manufacturing operations as soon as the market demand returns. The company said it aims to deliver previously planned production volumes despite the suspension due to the ongoing emergency.
Meanwhile, Renault said it will shutdown production activities at its industrial sites in France until further notice.
“From the end of the day on Monday, March 16, the Groupe Renault will suspend all production activities on French industrial sites in order to protect its employees in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and in compliance with the measures taken by the French government," the company said in its official note.
These suspensions, according to Renault, will be implemented across 12 production sites involving around 18,000 employees in France. The company also said that that the continuity of production activities in other European countries would depend on the situation in each country.
“The Group plans to restart production activities as soon as conditions permit and will implement appropriate measures to respond effectively to commercial demand," Renault said.
Last week, supercar companies Lamborghini and Ferrari had announced closure of their respective production units in Italy following the government’s decree on Covid-19.
World Health Organization (WHO), on March 12, had placed Europe at the center of the pandemic. As per the last update at 4:00 pm on March 16 on the WHO website, Europe had recorded 55,155 confirmed cases involving 2,303 confirmed deaths due to China virus outbreak.