Production lines fell silent across Europe on Monday. Factories across the region were mothballed. Manufacturers fought to contain the damage of an unprecedented loss of business.
The Financial Times reports how carmakers one after another announced work stoppages as the industry faced its worst disruption in a decade.
France’s PSA, which owns the Peugeot, Citroën, Vauxhall and Opel brands, said on Monday that it would close all its European plants, “due to the acceleration observed in recent days of serious Covid-19 cases close to certain production sites, supply disruptions from major suppliers, as well as the sudden decline in the automobile markets”.
French tyremaker Michelin will shut factories in Italy, Spain and France from tomorrow “for a minimum of one week”.
Italy’s FCA Chrysler will close eight sites, including six in its home market.
Volkswagen, could shut production lines because of disruptions to supply chains as a growing number of European countries close borders and impose lockdown measures. Things are getting more complicated and the situation is changing rapidly,” VW was quoted saying. “We have far more suppliers for European production in Italy and Spain than in China.
Some consumer industries, already facing severe declines in sales, are also stopping work altogether.