Coronavirus COVID-19 Automotive News

In COVID-19 Coronavirus news are Automatic, Mercedes-Benz, Pirelli, Audi, GM and BYD.

Automatic OBD Connected Car Service Shutdown

Automatic which is now owned by Sirius hutting down and discontinuing it service. the Co cited affects of the kovit 19 pandemic as the cause. The service will be completely shut down on May 28 2020. Some customers are eligible for a rebate per the terms of the company.

MBZ Back in Production

After a phase of suspension of production and short-time work caused by the Covid-19- pandemic, the Mercedes-Benz car plants in Untertürkheim, Berlin, Hamburg, Sindelfingen and Bremen have successfully restarted production. On 20 April the engine and component plants in Untertürkheim, Hamburg and Berlin gradually recommenced production first, followed by the Mercedes-Benz car plants in Bremen and Sindelfingen this week. On 4 May the Mercedes-Benz car plant in Rastatt will also gradually restart. The plants in Kölleda and Arnstadt (MDC Power and MDC Technology), as well as selected international Mercedes-Benz car plants, will likewise restart production on a step-by-step basis. These include e.g. the plants in Sebes/Cugir (Romania), Kecskemét (Hungary) and Tuscaloosa (USA). The restart will be on a flexible basis so that ongoing developments can be taken into account.

With this production ramp-up, Mercedes-Benz is continuing its product and electric initiative while among others servicing China as its largest sales market, where the company is seeing a significant increase in demand again. The Untertürkheim plant produces engines and components that are required for the production of Mercedes-Benz vehicles in China and for the gradually restarting Mercedes-Benz assembly plants. For the same reason the Mercedes-Benz plant in Berlin has recommenced production of e.g. Camtronic engine management units. The plant in Hamburg produces axles and axle components for Mercedes-Benz vehicle production around the world. The battery plants in Kamenz, where batteries for the EQ family, drive batteries for plug-in hybrid vehicles and 48 V batteries are produced, continued to operate during the suspension of production and short-time work phases as important strategic aspects of the electric initiative by Mercedes-Benz – on a 2-shift basis with strictly segregated shifts and extensive safety measures for the employees.

Audi Extends Warranties

Audi is offering its customers an extension of new car and extended warranties. This measure is being introduced short-term in many markets around the world as many customers have been, or still are, unable to visit an Audi dealership and report their warranty claims due to the ongoing Corona crisis.

The extension applies worldwide to all cars produced in Europe, Brazil, Mexico or India whose new car or extended warranty expires or has expired in the time period between 1st March 2020 and 31st May 2020. The period for the extension ends three months after the expiration of the original new car or extended warranty, at the latest on 31st August 2020.

“We are reaching out to our customers in these trying times and are enabling more flexibility in order to organize visits to Audi dealerships”, says Horst Hanschur, Vice President Retail Business Development and Customer Services. “Many of our dealer partners worldwide are still closed or just in the process of opening their doors again. We are therefore making adjustments in a number of areas in order to ensure our customers still have a premium experience with the Audi brand, as well as to ensure the future of our dealerships.”

The mileage restriction of the Audi extended warranty remains unchanged with respect to the warranty extension. If mileage restrictions for new car warranties have been issued in a market, then these also remain unchanged. In the case of an overlap between the extension of the new car warranty and the start of the Audi extended warranty, the start of the extended warranty will be postponed for three months free of charge.

All the above mentioned measures are one-time and voluntary goodwill measures which have been introduced due to the circumstances created by the Covid-19 crisis. These measures are not a recognition of any legal obligation and do not imply any such obligation in the future.

VP Pence Visits GM

Vice President Mike Pence, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao traveled to General Motors’ Kokomo plant today to support the GM and Ventec Life Systems employees engaged in the production of lifesaving critical care ventilators.

GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra and Ventec CEO Chris Kiple gave a tour of the ventilator production and testing lines. The vice president also engaged in a roundtable discussion with team members from GM and Ventec. The visit began shortly before 2 p.m. EDT and lasted approximately two hours.

BYD Gives Face Masks

BYD, Europe’s leading electric bus manufacturer – and also one of the world’s foremost producers of face-masks – has today made a significant donation of masks to the national government of Hungary. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade will today receive 70,000 masks, while 30,000 masks will be handed to the Municipality of Komárom later today.

At a handover ceremony today (30th April) in Budapest, Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs & Trade, took possession of 70,000 face-masks from Yongping Chen, Managing Director of BYD Hungary, one of two BYD eBus production facilities in Europe; the other in Beauvais, France. Isbrand Ho, Managing Director of BYD (Europe), conducted an earlier online meeting with Minister Szijjártó to discuss the coronavirus outbreak and how BYD is helping with the essential delivery of face-masks and other Personal Protection Equipment to health organisations across the world.

Pirelli Prepares

Pirelli is preparing for a gradual return to activity on May 4th with a plan aimed at ensuring the maximum protection of employees’ health and workplace safety, which has been the company’s priority from the beginning of the Covid-19 emergency.

In order to guarantee adequate protection from the risk of Covid-19 infection, Pirelli is collaborating with the Università degli Studi of Milan – L. Sacco Department of Biomedical Sciences and Clinics, directed by Professor Massimo Galli, to validate, with scientific criteria, the operating procedures adopted and to define a healthcare protocol with serological screening examinations, for preventative purposes, for its employees.

The recommencement of industrial activities from May 4th will happen gradually: at the Settimo Torinese plant production levels will be reduced in light of lower demand. At the Bollate location – the plant that will focus on the Velo business – only essential activities will recommence in May with a very small number of employees present. In addition, Bollate will subsequently begin the production of facemasks, exclusively for employees and their families, thus enabling the company to eliminate the potential risk of shortages from third party suppliers and consequent suspension of industrial activities.