COVID-19

Auto industry needs healthy workers, supply chains to keep up improved production

Justin Ho Jul 16, 2020
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Outbreaks of COVID-19 cases around the country could threaten the health of workers, demand and supply chains. Jeff Kowalsy/AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19

Auto industry needs healthy workers, supply chains to keep up improved production

Justin Ho Jul 16, 2020
Heard on:
Outbreaks of COVID-19 cases around the country could threaten the health of workers, demand and supply chains. Jeff Kowalsy/AFP via Getty Images
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Manufacturing picked up strongly in June, rising over 7%, according to data from the Federal Reserve. And within those gains, auto production saw the biggest rise.

This is, however, last month we’re talking about, and COVID-19 cases are now picking up again throughout the country.

For an auto manufacturers to keep churning out cars, Kristin Dziczek at the Center for Automotive Research said, manufacturers need healthy demand, healthy supply chains and healthy workers.

“And the outbreaks of cases around the country right now could threaten any one of those three things,” she said.

Dziczek said consumer demand is holding up for now. But supply chains are starting to see some new disruptions. Last week, the Mexican government limited staffing capacity in the state of Chihuahua.

“And there’s a heck of a lot of suppliers there,” Dziczek said.

Health concerns could impact production in the U.S., regardless of whether states mandate production halts.

Independent auto analyst Maryann Keller said we could see some self-imposed shutdowns.

“If you haven’t got workers, you can’t operate a factory, no matter what you’re told to do,” Keller said.

Two weeks ago, the union at a GM factory in Texas asked the automaker to shut down the plant, citing the growing number of cases in the region.

GM said in a statement that the plant uses protocols designed to keep the coronavirus out of the facility.

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