It was only a matter of time before auto manufacturers saw themselves obliged to shut down production at some of their assembly plants. And that time is arriving now. The FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) Group, Italian automaker Ferrari and German giant Volkswagen have all announced temporary plant closures.
Ferrari announced on Saturday that it will stop production at its plant in Maranello, Italy until March 27 due to problems receiving components from suppliers struggling with slowdowns and shutdowns caused by COVID-19.
The shutdown also affects Ferrari’s Formula One team, but the company says all activities not related to manufacturing will continue. All employees who can do so will be working from home.
Italy is the European country worst affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Shops, schools and many businesses have already been shuttered following a government decree issued on March 11, which stated that citizens should avoid all non-essential contact with others.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Lamborghini have also put a stop to production, along with a number of their suppliers. The former company’s closed plants stretch across Europe, and they will remain idle for the next two weeks. The Volkswagen Group has for its part announced the shutting down of some of its factories in Italy and Spain.
The hope of course is that the lights will go back on at these plants quickly, and that other closings elsewhere in the world won’t be required. But with the situation evolving as rapidly as it currently is, all bets are off.