In the current world scenario, industries from manufacturing, be it automotive or electronics, to travel have hit hard by the outbreak of coronavirus. The automotive industry has affected heavily as auto companies, especially in China, have been shut down their operations as a whole to combat the Covid-19. China is the world’s biggest car market, and Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, is house to auto plants including General Motors, Honda, Nissan, Peugeot Group and Renault.
This is the reason, as the pandemic disrupts business as usual and put the economy into uncertainty, the automotive sector is on the front line. In India, the industry is predicting a loss of 7.5 lakh units in production and US$2 billion in revenue in March alone due to the nationwide lockdown to prevent the coronavirus outbreak.
Preparing to Combat Covid-19
While the pandemic continues to spread rapidly, the sector is now preparing to assist in the fight against the virus. Manufacturers around the world now have rallied to put their production facilities to produce essential medical equipment for health services. In the UK, carmakers are standing ready to act in situations required by the government. In a statement, Nissan said that they are ready to support any initiatives where manufacturing and engineering expertise can be useful.
Besides, other UK manufacturers including Vauxhall and Airbus are making 3D-print parts for ventilators to treat coronavirus patients in the time of the global pandemic. After the request from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, over 60 companies began responding to help create 20,000 ventilators in as little as two weeks.
In the United States, on the other hand, President Trump ordered General Motors to make ventilators under the Defense Production Act. In response, GM said that it’s been working around the clock for weeks to meet this urgent need and that its commitment to build the ventilators has never wavered.
Moreover, automaker Fiat Chrysler is also converting one of its factories to produce face masks for first responders and healthcare workers. Toyota also is making its North American facilities to work to produce face shields, COVID-19 masks and ventilators. It is said that the company will start distributing the supplies to healthcare centers in Houston, Dallas, as well as Indiana, Kentucky, and Michigan.
According to a report, the United Auto Workers (UAW), General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler announced to form a Joint Coronavirus Task Force to implement improved healthcare and safety protections for production and warehouse workers at all three companies. The group is designed and set to take action to halt and reduce the further spread of the virus. It is said that detailed visitor checking, additional social distancing, increased cleaning and hygiene, health and safety education, food service, safety protocols for people with flu-like symptoms are some of the measures taken. In addition, workers will also be updated with all known improvements. Eventually, the aim is to thwart the negative scenarios that took place in China and Europe.