OEMs in Europe and China Resume OperationsBy Alejandro Enríquez | Wed, 04/15/2020 - 11:13
China is slowly starting to recover from the lockdown it was subjected to due to COVID-19. At the same time, automakers in Europe have taken bold decisions on resuming productions with the required safety measures.
OEMs expect Chinese consumers to press the accelerator on global demand and April will be key to seize the impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior. So far, demand looks promising as March sales grew 361 percent compared to February to reach a total of 1.43 million units. After a series of government policies directed to consumers and dealerships, the Chinese government is oiling the industry’s second largest market.
Meanwhile, in Europe, automakers are starting to resume operations under single or double shift schemes. Audi is resuming its operations in Hungary under a single-shift. Renault reactivated its plant in Portugal and on April 21 will reopen its Rumanian facilities. Hyundai's facility in the Czech Republic has also resumed operations under a two-shift scheme.
Production in Germany will be discussed over the following days as Chancellor Angela Merkel meets with local governments to decide how long can measures to tackle COVID-19 should be extended, which will be gradual and complex process, according to Bloomberg.
GM Restart Operations in Mexico to Produce Masks
The company plans to use its facilities in Toluca until the end of April to produce 1.5 million masks a month to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Part of the production will be donated to hospitals in Mexico, while others will be for company use.