Eight global carmakers, including General Motors, Toyota, Volkswagen, and BMW, have suspended their Mexico operations to safeguard employees from the COVID-19 virus.
General Motors halted operations on March 20 at four of its facilities located in San Luis Potosi and Silao city, Guanajuato, Toluca, Mexico State, and in Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila. The carmaker did not specify a date to restart operations. Similarly, Nissan Mexico suspended vehicle manufacturing operations at its plant in Aguas Calientes on March 25 with no restart date in sight.
German carmaker, Volkswagen, also plans to halt operations at its facilities in Puebla and Guanajuato from March 30 to April 12, while BMW will halt operations from March 28 to April 19. Toyota also announced it would suspend its carmaking activities in Mexico from March 23 to April 3.
Last week, German carmaker, Audi, and Japanese auto maker, Honda, temporarily suspended production at their plants in Mexico. Ford Mexico also announced it was suspending operations from March 19-30 at its facilities in Hermosillo City, Sonora, Cuautitlán city, Chihuahua state and in Mexico City.
Car sales in Mexico fell by 6pc in January this year to 104,832 units, compared to the prior year, according to data from the domestic automotive association (Amia).
Over the last weeks, market participants have told Davis Index that Mexican automotive and steel industries will be affected due to COVID-19 pandemic, which has also affected the Mexican steel production. Crude steel output in Mexico declined to 1.37mn mt in January from 1.63mn mt in the same month last year.