Daily Management Review

Impact Of Coronavirus Impacting European Auto Plants, Could Hit GM Truck Production


While attempting to restart operations at their Chinese factories that have been closed down temporarily because of the spread of the coronavirus, major auto companies are also trying to ensure that their operations and manufacturing at other does not get affected by shortage of supply of parts.
General Motors David Barnas said in an emailed statement to the media that a close monitoring of the supply chain that manufactures parts its highly profitable truck production in North America was being conducted by it. The automaker “does not anticipate any impact on full-size truck production at this time,” he added.
There is a possibility that production could be disrupted due to supply issues in Texas, said Terry Valenzuela, president of a United Auto Workers chapter in Texas that produces GM’s full-size SUVs.
Warnings of possible shortages of auto parts at their plant as well as the SUV plant in Texas and another truck plant in Indiana because of the coronavirus was issued recently by union leaders in Flint, Michigan, claimed a report published by The Detroit Bureau, an online industry news website. It could as early as this month that there can be parts shortage, including decal applications, which could take on larger proportions with wider implications if the Chinese production closure extends into March, said a social media post, which appears to have been taken down, said reports.
“We continue to monitor our supply chain and are in close communications with our Tier One suppliers to attempt to mitigate risks to production in North America,” Barnas said.
The Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade SUVs and the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup are the among the vehicles that could get impacted if the plants were to be idled.
Shortages of parts supply because of the coronavirus in China has forced GM to temporarily stop production at an assembly plant in South Korea for two days next week, the company has confirmed. The auto maker however has also confirmed that it will stick to its announced plan of restring production at its 15 assembly plants in China over a period of two weeks starting this weekend, GM said.
Supply chain issues such as a lack of parts from China has forced shut down of manufacturing plants outside of China for auto companies including Nissan Motor, Hyundai Motor/Kia Motors and Fiat Chrysler, and GM is the latest in that list.
A lack of parts from China because of the coronavirus will force temporary closure of operations at its factory in Serbia, Fiat Chrysler has already confirmed on Friday. This is the first instance that an auto maker has been forced to halt operations in Europe because of the spreading of the coronavirus in China.
“We are in the process of securing future supply of those affected parts and production will be restarted later this month,” the company said in an emailed statement to the media. “We do not expect this change in scheduling to impact the total production forecasted for the month.”