The production of car manufacturers remained at halt for most part of last 60 days but as the restrictions are being eased so does the auto makers. Employees of car industry have slowly started to head back to their factories as the America’s largest industry is starting to roll again.
It may seem that only the auto industry has suffered from the wide spread pandemic but the truth is that America’s economy has taken a greater hit therefore it is imperative that this industry gets restarted soon. This will provide a much needs stimulus to the auto manufacturers and their associated industries such as parts suppliers so that they can make up for the debt that they have incurred in the last 60 days.
If we take a fact check, we will come across a weak picture as only 4840 vehicles including cars and SUVs were produced in April which is nothing compared to almost one and half billion vehicles manufactured in same month last year. Due to restrictions on public movement the sales also took a plunge and industry experts say that the sales have dropped by almost 50 percent in April on year-year basis.
Although news are coming on auto giants such as Fiat Chrysler, GM, and Tesla restarting their manufacturing plants all across the country but it is a long shot to get the manufacturing up to speed instantaneously. A crucial step in this cycle is the restoration of parts from the suppliers which are also reeling back to life as restrictions are being lifted all across the country.
Amid these efforts from auto manufacturers, some problems have come up which have almost brought the production to a halt. Tesla has taken up a case against State of California for not letting them resume their factory operations when almost every other auto manufacturing has been allowed to do so in their respective states. Mercedes restarted their SUV manufacturing operation first but had to stop because of the lack of parts from suppliers. In comparison to this, Daimler-AMG had to push back their restart date because of delays from their parts suppliers.
The workforce of auto manufacturers comprises of majority of workers employed in assembly lines and their nature of spending hours in close proximity made them ideal vectors for the corona virus and therefore these workers had to be sent home the first. An estimate of a number of these workers is close to half a million. The executives of these companies remained safe from the restrictions as their nature of work permitted them to continue their work from home.
The last 60 days have been unprecedented for all the walks of life including the auto manufacturing industry. Even during wars, the auto industry remained afloat with their repurposed plants for manufacturing military equipment. The shut down has been bad for the industry but according to experts the next hurdle is to restart the industry under the restrictions and the fear of virus.