London – A number of key car makers in Italy and Spain have suspended production amid the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus) in the two European countries.
Ford announced 15 March that it would shut its Spanish plant in the eastern region of Valencia for a week as of 16 March, after three employees tested positive for the virus.
The factory is one of Ford's largest plants outside the US and employs over 7,000 workers. The company manufactures Mondeo and Galaxy models at the factory.
Italian sports carmaker Ferrari also announced 14 March that it was closing its two plants in the country until 27 March in response to the spread of the virus and amid a parts shortage.
Ferrari said it was experiencing “the first serious supply chain issues, which no longer allow for continued production,” as a result of a lockdown to stop the spread of the virus.
“All non-manufacturing related activity will continue on a regular basis, leveraging the opportunities provided by smart working,” Ferrari added.
Ferrari manufactures cars at its two production sites in Maranello - its global headquarters - and in Modena, in the northern Emilia Romagna region.
Italian supercar maker Lamborghini is also halting production until 25 March, as parent Volkswagen Group looks to limit the impact on its operations from the coronavirus crisis spread.
All of the brand’s cars are manufactured at its headquarters plant on the outskirts of the northern Italian city of Bologna, the carmaker said in a 12 March statement to Bloomberg.
“This measure is an act of social responsibility and high sensibility toward our people,” Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali said in the statement.
The company, he said, will continue to monitor the situation to “react rapidly and with the right flexibility,” in the future.