Coronavirus Versus The Motor Industry
If, by chance, you have been dwelling under a metamorphic domicile for the past couple of months, you may not be familiar the impact of Covid-19 is having globally. More commonly known as the Coronavirus, the illness which originated in Wuhan has ‘infected’ the headlines. It’s a subject matter you cannot escape from. Reported cases within the UK are on the rise. We, however, are not in the business of fear-mongering. Additionally, we are in no qualified position to offer guidance in this situation. We do suggest you listen to public service announcements and practice strong public hygiene. That being said we can shed some light on the impact the virus has had on the motor industry.
Big Trouble in Big China
Over the past 12 years China has boasted the title of ‘world’s largest automotive industry’. In 2018 alone, China accounted for over 30 percent of worldwide vehicle production. That exceeded the production rates on the United States and Japan combined. Many of the planets major car manufactures utilise the Asian superpower for their manufacturing needs. The level of production can vary from full chassis manufacturer to individual parts. There is no denying the import China holds within the automotive industry.
China is unfortunately the epicentre of the outbreak of the virus. Predictably this has had an adverse effect on China’s economy with their automotive industry being no exception. According to reports, new auto sales plummeted by 80% year-on-year in Feb. Shutters fell on many dealerships during the month of February as workers were told to go home and quarantine themselves. Factories across the country have only just begun to restart operations as they too were shut down in an effort to help contain the infection. It is highly likely that the supply of new vehicles will be affected by this. Production schedules of all major carmakers have been pushed back by at least a week; even now with production restarting experts say manufacturers will still struggle to increase output.
The No Go Geneva Motor Show
Switzerland a country home to world renowned, mountains, ski-resorts, chocolate and luxury watches. It is also a nation which hosts one of the largest automotive events in the world. The Geneva Motor Show. Ran annually, it is normally an opportunity for carmakers to flex their muscles. Concepts and new models audaciously atop, slowly rotating pedestals as press gather to capture sneak peek images of the upcoming hardware. However, this year all this has all come to naught, as the show has been cancelled due to the outbreak. The inopportune timing of the pandemic has lead the Swiss government to ban any event with over 1000 attendees, the Geneva Motor show being one of them.
Now, the Palexpo is littered with half-made stands and brand new motors but, with no one there to enjoy them. Automakers are still opting to press ahead with their planned unveilings via their online social media platforms. However, it still majorly inhibits the wonder and amazement the event brings.
Coronavirus and the Future
So, what does this mean for the future? Simply put, we don’t know. News headlines are very ‘doom and gloomy’ at the moment and we don’t ideally want to compound the issue. That being said, Covid-19 is a worldwide problem that has disrupted commerce on a grand scale. There is a slight air of uncertainty within the industry, as major brands are preparing for the possibility of delays and push-backs. We can only hope normality is resumed within the near future. Thank you for reading.
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