Coronavirus causes yet more automakers to temporarily suspend production.
In the past few days, auto manufacturers around the world have been suspending production in response to the coronavirus outbreak. In Italy, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Maserati have all shut down production, while Volkswagen Group and Porsche are closing factories in Germany. It's a similar story in the US, as Ford, Fiat Chrysler, General Motors, and Tesla have closed plants.
Now, Coronavirus is causing the British automotive industry to grind to a halt, as Bentley and Jaguar Land Rover have announced production will be suspended at its UK manufacturing facilities for at least one month, no doubt resulting in financial losses and delivery delays. Bentley suspended production at its factory headquarters in Crewe, UK, from March 20, while Jaguar Land Rover will halt production over the course of this week to protect staff. Both automakers plan to resume production on the week of April 20 but will review the ongoing situation.
"The well-being of our colleagues is our number one priority and although this was a difficult decision to take, and doesn't change our strategic direction, it was necessary to protect them as best we can during these unprecedented times," said Adrian Hallmark, Chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors.
"This will inevitably have an impact on our deliveries to customers, and we apologize for the inconvenience this causes, however we are working hard to minimize this disruption. Our thoughts continue to go out to all those affected around the world throughout this very sad and difficult time for so many people."
Bugatti also joins the growing list of manufacturers suspending production. From March 20, production of the Bugatti Chiron was halted at the company's factory in Molsheim, France, since the manufacturer is finding it impossible to maintain its supply chain of production and spare parts and deliver completed customer cars. Bugatti hasn't announced when it plans to resume production but will closely monitor the situation in the coming days and weeks.
"We decided to suspend production to protect our staff and prevent the COVID-19 pandemic from spreading to our sites," said Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. "In this extreme situation, our social responsibility demands that we take such a drastic step. For us, the health of our staff and their families, our customers, our business partners and suppliers have top priority."
Back in the UK, Rolls-Royce has closed its factory in Goodwood but McLaren and Aston Martin have yet to suspend production at the time of writing, although it's surely only a matter of time.