Coronavirus is threatening automotive world
The coronavirus crisis becomes a threatto the global auto industry. The Fiat Chrysler Automobiles warned that a European plant could shut down within two to four weeks if Chinese parts suppliers cannot get back to work.
The next few weeks will be critical for automakers. Parts produced in China are largely used in millions of vehicles assembled elsewhere, and China's Hubei province, epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, is a major hub for vehicle parts production and shipments.
Industry experts said suppliers had built up a cushion of parts in inventory and in-transit ahead of the long Chinese New Year holiday in late January. But Chinese auto parts and assembly plants have extended previously planned New Year's shutdowns through Feb. 9.Some of them have pushed the shutdowns out further. There is a chance that the parts will start to run out if Chinese factories cannot get back to work next week, or if flights to and from China remain limited.