Grinding to a steady halt, the impact of the coronavirus on the car industry in Spain

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THE brakes have put on the car industry which is steadily grinding to a halt as factories temporarily shut down due to the COVID19 pandemic.

Vauxhall (Opal) and Nissan have already closed plants as sales plummet and parts supply issues cause delays, with Jaguar Land Rover, Toyota, BMW and Honda to name a few following suit.
BMW employs around 8,000 people in the UK. In a statement, the car giant said: “Due to the rapidly evolving coronavirus pandemic we have taken the difficult decision to cease production at our production sites at Oxford and Swindon as of Monday, March 23, for a period of four weeks until April 17.”
Seat is considered to be the most famous Spanish brand of cars, producing its first car in Martorel in 1953. Today is part of Audi Brand Group, which produces more than 400,000 Spanish cars a year.
As yet, there have been no official ‘shut down’ announcements, with Audi AG instead revealing it achieved its financial targets for 2019 and has set a course for “long-term competitiveness”.
CEO Bram Schot said: “(This is an) exceptional situation due to corona; we are focusing on protecting our employees, contractors and guests and making the right business decisions in this volatile environment.”
CFO Dr Arno Antlitz added: “Our current focus is on the health of our employees and their families worldwide. Our task is to protect the company’s liquidity and stability and to stablilise core processes.”
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Peugeot maker PSA Group are stopping almost all car production in Europe while Volkswagen AG has shut factories in Spain and Italy, as global manufacturers try to protect workers from the spread of the new coronavirus and supply lines start to break down.
Here in Spain, the impact is monumental on the dozen car assembly plants of leading world manufacturers: Nissan, Mercedes, General Motors, Renault, Volkswagen, Ford, Iveco, Peugeot, and Citroen.
Nearly 40 different models of cars and vans are assembled on Spanish conveyors, and in total, the country supplies the market with almost 3 million Spanish cars, most of which are exported.

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Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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