The rapid spread of the coronavirus is taking large parts of the world by storm. The car industry is hard hit and also at GTspirit we feel the effects of the coronavirus. Our GTspirit Tour 2020 is postponed and due to the many travel restrictions, closed borders and recommendation to stay home most car launches and other car related events have been cancelled. We wish all of our readers the best and recommend you to stay home and take care of loved ones and high-risk groups.
It is clear the coronavirus will have a large impact on car manufacturers, car buyers and car journalists alike. Many car manufacturers already shutdown their operations or are planning to do so in the very near future. Here is a short overview of the situation on Wednesday 18th of March 2020.
Lamborghini and Ferrari closed their factories
Lamborghini idled its plant in Sant’Agata Bolognese last week, and Ferrari followed suit at facilities in Maranello and Modena over the weekend. Both are located in the particularly hard hit areas in Northern Italy.
Bugatti launches Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport online, factory closure nearing
Bugatti planned to launch the Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport in Geneva but with the Geneva Motor Show and all other major motor shows in the near future cancelled they have decided to launch the Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport online. Recent reports also suggest the Bugatti factory in Molsheim, in the hard-hit North-Eastern part of France, will be closed soon.
The most recent Bugatti statement:
“The COVID-19 pandemic and measures to contain the outbreak are having an unprecedented impact on public life. The current situation affects our team and our work no less than the rest of France, Europe and the world.
We are constantly monitoring the situation and adapting our response daily to the development of the COVID-19 pandemic in accordance with the recommendations of the French government and the World Health Organization (WHO).
We recommend that you follow the instructions given by the authorities in your place of residence and the WHO to protect yourself and others from the virus. Priority number one: please stay healthy.’
Aston Martin closes facilities to visitors
Andy Palmer, Group President and CEO of Aston Martin Lagonda, just sent out a statement regarding the coronavirus:
Our primary concern continues to be the health and safety of colleagues and their families, customers, our business partners and the local communities. All Public Health measures advised by governments are being followed in support of efforts to contain the spread of the virus, our UK sites, regional offices and global dealer network are complying with local advice in order to safeguard the health of staff, customers and the wider community.
We have taken the decision to close our facilities to all visitors, so if you were planning a factory tour at Gaydon for example, please contact your Aston Martin Dealer who will confirm when we have re-opened the factory for visitors. We have also postponed or cancelled our upcoming F1™ experiences and Art of Living events, if you were planning to join us our team will be in touch in the coming days to confirm next steps.
Porsche stops production due to the coronavirus
As from the coming week (23rd of March), Porsche will suspend production for an initial period of two weeks. By taking this step, the sports car manufacturer is responding to the significant acceleration in the rate of infection caused by the coronavirus and the resultant measures implemented by the relevant authorities. In addition to the primary protection of the workforce, bottlenecks in global supply chains no longer allow orderly production. At the same time, Porsche is preparing for a decline in demand and securing its financial strength with these decisions. The parent plant in Zuffenhausen and the production location in Leipzig will be closed from Saturday (21 March 2020). These steps have been taken as part of an orderly process and in close cooperation with the works council.
BMW halts production in Europe and South-Africa
Due to the rapid expansion of the coronavirus BMW is reducing its production and prepares for a significant drop in revenue and profit for 2020. The measures include the stop of production in Europe and at the Rosslyn factory in South-Africa from today until at least the 19th of April. In other factories part-time working could be implemented to adjust the production capacity to the current situation.
Daimler suspends most of the production in Europe
On Tuesday 17th of March Daimler announced:
Due to the worsening situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Daimler Group has decided today to suspend the majority of its production in Europe, as well as work in selected administrative departments, for an initial period of two weeks. By taking this action, the company is following the recommendations of international, national and local authorities. The suspension applies to Daimler’s car, van and commercial vehicle plants in Europe and will start this week. Connected to this is an assessment of global supply chains, which currently cannot be maintained to their full extent. An extension of this measure will depend on further developments. Wherever operations need to be continued, the company will take appropriate precautions to prevent the infection of its employees.
Audi stops production until end of the week
Audi announced they are closing all their factories until end of the week. The spread of the coronavirus also affects the parts delivery making regular production soon impossible.
Volkswagen suspends European production
Latest statement by Volkswagen:
The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand is gradually suspending production at its European plants. This will also affect Volkswagen Group Components plants. This is the brand’s response to the impending rapid decline in demand on the automotive markets. Risks in connection with suppliers’ supply chains are also increasing. This is due to the significantly accelerated rate of infection by coronavirus and the resulting measures taken by the authorities. Initially, the factories are therefore expected to remain closed for two weeks. For the affected German sites, the measures are to apply from the end of the late shift on Thursday.
Fiat Chrylser Automobiles
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced on Monday it will close most of its factories in Europe including production facilities for Alfa Romeo and Maserati. This includes factories in Italy, Serbia and Poland.
For more information about the coronavirus and how to protect yourself and your family visit the coronavirus report.