Corona Virus COVID-19 Automotive News

In coronavirus news are Daimler, Hagerty, CCC, Ford, FCA , Lyft, Uber UTI and ALG.

No More Ride Sharing

Uber and Lyft temporarily suspended carpool features and shared rides for social distancing.

Uber is working with public health organizations on suspending accounts of riders and drivers if they test positive for COVID-19. Uber is working to provide drivers with disinfectants to help them keep their cars clean. Supplies are very limited.

Daimler Suspends Production

Due to the worsening situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Daimler Group has decided today to suspend the majority of its production in Europe, as well as work in selected administrative departments, for an initial period of two weeks. By taking this action, the company is following the recommendations of international, national and local authorities. The suspension applies to Daimler’s car, van and commercial vehicle plants in Europe and will start this week. Connected to this is an assessment of global supply chains, which currently cannot be maintained to their full extent. An extension of this measure will depend on further developments. Wherever operations need to be continued, the company will take appropriate precautions to prevent the infection of its employees.

With these closures, Daimler is helping to protect its workforce, to interrupt chains of infection and to contain the spread of the pandemic. At the same time, this will help the company to prepare for a period of temporarily lower demand and to protect its financial strength.Given the ongoing spread of COVID-19, the economic effects on Daimler cannot be adequately determined or reliably quantified at this time.

Hagerty Cancels Greenwich Concours d’Elegance

The 25th Anniversary edition of the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance has been canceled due to coronavirus health concerns, Hagerty announced.

“We all love cars and the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, which is a highlight of the year for thousands of car fans across the region and nation,” said McKeel Hagerty, chairman of the event. “But what matters most is the safety and well-being of our friends, families and loved ones.”

The Concours, he said, will return in 2021 with exciting new classes and features. In the meantime, once public health officials agree that it is safe to congregate again, Hagerty plans to host local car events to engage and energize car and driving fans and whet their appetite for next year’s show.

The 25th Anniversary edition of the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance has been canceled due to coronavirus health concerns, Hagerty announced today.

“We all love cars and the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, which is a highlight of the year for thousands of car fans across the region and nation,” said McKeel Hagerty, chairman of the event. “But what matters most is the safety and well-being of our friends, families and loved ones.”

The Concours, he said, will return in 2021 with exciting new classes and features. In the meantime, once public health officials agree that it is safe to congregate again, Hagerty plans to host local car events to engage and energize car and driving fans and whet their appetite for next year’s show.

Ford Suspends Engine Production

Ford is temporarily suspending vehicle and engine production at its manufacturing sites in continental Europe in response to the growing impact of the Coronavirus. Effective from Thursday, March 19, it is expected that this action will continue for a number of weeks.

The action follows the World Health Organization’s designation of Europe as the new epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic with the number of reported cases growing significantly in recent days and expected to continue to rise rapidly. Ford’s decision to temporarily halt production also will contribute towards the efforts to contain the virus spread.

“While the impact of coronavirus at our facilities so far has been limited thankfully, its effects on our employees, dealers, suppliers and customers, as well as European society as a whole, is unprecedented,” said Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe. “Due to the dramatic impact this ongoing crisis is having on the European market and the supplier industry – together with the recent actions by countries to restrict all but essential travel and personal contact – we are temporarily halting production at our main continental Europe manufacturing sites.”

The Ford vehicle manufacturing sites in Cologne and Saarlouis in Germany, together with the Craiova facility in Romania, will temporarily halt production from Thursday, March 19. Ford’s Valencia assembly and engine facility in Spain already temporarily halted production from Monday, March 16, after three workers were confirmed with coronavirus over the past weekend. Only essential work, such as maintenance and security, will continue onsite.

ALG Predicts

ALG, a subsidiary of TrueCar, and the industry benchmark for determining the future resale value of a vehicle, is providing an updated 2020 new vehicle sales forecast to account for the quickly evolving Coronavirus pandemic and the latest economic outlook.

ALG projects that in a quick recovery scenario, where the economy and auto industry recover by the end of April 2020 back to levels prior to COVID-19 disruption, new vehicle sales will reach 16.4 million, down -500,000 vehicles or -2.9% from ALG’s initial 2020 forecast and down -3.8% from 2019 sales.

In a scenario where COVID-19 is prolonged with a longer-term economic slowdown, ALG forecasts that new light vehicles sales will reach 14.5 million, down -2.4 million or -14.2% from ALG’s initial 2020 forecast and down -14.9% from 2019 sales.

“In the rapidly moving, highly volatile global economic environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we believe it’s prudent to provide a revised range of auto industry projections to new vehicle sales for 2020. The range is based on various scenarios provided by expert third party forecasts of macro-economic impacts from the Coronavirus outbreak,” said Eric Lyman, Chief Industry Analyst for ALG, a subsidiary of TrueCar. “A quick recovery by the end of April would lead to roughly half a million lost sales, while a prolonged slow down through the end of the year would result in a nearly 15% year-over-year sales decline in 2020. While forecasts are changing day to day, our current likely scenario has new vehicle sales for 2020 landing in the mid 15M unit range.”

ALG is also reducing residual values in its latest Residual Value Book. This update is based off current third-party economic outlooks in COVID-19 impact and other key factors such as the stock market declines and drops in oil futures.

FCA Suspends Production in Italy

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced that its subsidiaries FCA Italy and Maserati will temporarily suspend production across the majority of their European manufacturing plants.

The temporary suspension, which will be in effect through March 27, 2020, continues the implementation of a comprehensive set of actions in response to the COVID-19 emergency and enables the Group to effectively respond to the interruption in market demand by ensuring the optimization of supply. In particular, the suspension of production is being facilitated to enable the Group to be ready to commence production promptly once market conditions allow.

The updated production plan will temporarily close the following facilities with effect for the month of March:

  • Italy: Melfi, G. Vico (Pomigliano), Cassino, Mirafiori Carrozzerie, Grugliasco, and Modena;
  • Serbia: Kragujevac
  • Poland: Tychy

As previously communicated, FCA has been proactively modifying production protocols at several plants including enhancing social distancing between employees at work-stations. Across all facilities, FCA has increased cleaning and sanitization and other improvements for employee safety. Strict controls and security measures have been applied to canteens and to external access to all Group sites. At FCA offices, the company has accelerated the deployment of working remotely (‘Smart Working’) with this option now widely available to employees across the world.

The Group will make use of these stoppages to implement revisions to production and quality control protocols to benefit our customers and enhance overall productivity. The Group is working with its supply base and business partners to be ready to enable our manufacturing operations to deliver previously planned total levels of production despite the suspension when market demand returns.

UTI Still Teaching

Universal Technical Institute, Inc. the leading provider of transportation technician training, provided an update on its COVID-19 related information.

At UTI, we are proactively addressing the evolving COVID-19 situation with the well-being of our staff, students and our campus communities being our top priority. We continue to follow health protocols prescribed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and to communicate CDC recommendations to prevent transmission of infectious illnesses.

CCC Reports:

Among the potential outcomes of the coronavirus to the automotive insurance and collision repair industries are:

  • Fewer potential accidents as miles driven fall;
  • Larger decline in new auto sales in the U.S. than originally projected for the year;
  • Larger decline in new auto insurance premium related to new auto sales;
  • Inability to get certain replacement parts;
  • Longer fulfillment time of certain replacement parts driving up claim and repair cycle times.

There is good news according to the European Space Agency, there is drop in NO2 over Italy.

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