Italian carmaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on March 16 announced that it has temporarily suspended production across the majority of European manufacturing plants in wake of coronavirus outbreak. According to a statement released by the company, the temporary suspension will be in effect through March 27.
The company in its statement said, "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."
According to the statement, the plants that will be affected by the decision are Italy's Melfi, G. Vico (Pomigliano), Cassino, Mirafiori Carrozzerie, Grugliasco, and Modena. While production at Serbia's Kragujevac and Poland's Tychy plants will also remain suspended.
Italy is the most affected country outside mainland China as it became the second nation to record more than 1,000 deaths. According to reports, there are currently 20,603 active coronavirus cases in the country, of which 1,672 patients are under critical condition. Media reports suggest that Italy has successfully treated 2,335 patients from the 24,747 cases that have been reported since December 2019.
The COVID-19 has claimed more than 6,500 lives across the world and has infected over 1,69,000 people globally since it first broke out in December 2019. China is the most affected country in the world as experts believe that the virus originated from a seafood market in Wuhan city, the epicentre of the disease, where animals were reportedly being traded illegally. Iran, Spain and South Korea are some of the other highly impacted countries after China and Italy.