The comprehensive suspensions on manufacturing activities by automakers in Europe to prevent spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, have resulted in production loss of at least 1.23 million vehicles, according to data compiled by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA). The large-scale shutdowns have also impacted jobs of at least 1.11 million people in Europe working in the manufacturing factories of these automakers. The total number of people affected by the shutdowns will be much higher if the impact on automotive supply chain is also considered.
According to ACEA, currently, the average shutdown duration is 16 working days. The association has warned that production loss will further grow if shutdowns are extended or additional plants are brought to a halt. “Right now, the primary concern of ACEA and all its members is to manage the immediate crisis facing the auto industry, which has essentially come to an abrupt halt—something the sector has never experienced before,” said Eric-Mark Huitema, ACEA Director General. “Our first priority is to protect the health and jobs of the almost 14 million Europeans who work directly or indirectly in our sector,” Huitema said.
Significance: ACEA data considers vehicle manufacturing in 27 European Union (EU) member countries and the United Kingdom. According to the association, automakers operate 229 vehicle assembly and production plants and provide direct employment to 2.6 million people in the EU automotive industry. The wider auto sector (including suppliers and others) provides direct and indirect jobs to 13.8 million people. Most of these automakers—from Daimler to Volkswagen and PSA to Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi—have announced production suspensions at their plants in Europe to prevent further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Apart from ensuring the safety of their employees, these automakers have announced large-scale production suspensions to deal with a sharp decline in vehicle demand as a result of the pandemic. Automotive suppliers have followed their customers and have announced production suspension at their plants in the region.