As the coronavirus pandemic is engulfing the world, it is adversely affecting the very structure of our society across the globe in a hitherto unprecedented way. The countries and international organizations around the world are trying hard to halt the progress of this pandemic. The people with infection need urgent medical care, and the people who do not have infection yet are isolating in their own homes.
The risk of infection is making it mandatory to stop all the activities of every industry and economic activity in our society to minimize the transmission of the virus. However, with no vaccine or cure in sight, it can be a long battle before normalcy is restorable.
According to experts, more people are likely to stay at home in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which will reduce the demand for cars. Automakers have yet to see the impact of the pandemic and the real impact may only come out in the coming months. Here are the five most severe impacts of the coronavirus on the car industry.
1. Lockdowns and Curfews
Several governments across the world are imposing lockdowns and curfews in the respective countries to try and limit the spread of the virus among the population. The mode of transmission of the coronavirus is from one person to another. Since the coronavirus is highly infectious, there is a need for people to keep their distance from each other.
The places that people tend to crowd are extremely susceptible to be hotspots of transmission of the disease to many other people. Hence the doctors around the world are advising the population to follow the norms of social distancing. Cleaning your hands regularly with sanitizers or soaps to prevent the transmission of the virus is a crucial prevention method.
People do not want to go out shopping and in the U.S., the places with the maximum reports of coronavirus are already witnessing a drop in demand. Since the lockdowns are affecting the general way of life of people and there is no need for people to purchase a car in these times, it is leading to a natural decline in demand for cars and bikes such as the Yamaha wr250r.
2. Economic Slowdown
The countries across the world are facing a crisis, and the panic is causing an economic slowdown across the world. The slowdown is also causing the stock markets around the world to take a hit. Economic slowdowns always adversely affect the car industry as people tend to find a decrease in wealth for making such purchases. Even if the world recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, the economic impact is bound to cause ripples for months to come.
Although the long term effects of the pandemic are still unclear, car manufacturers are expecting only a delay in the purchases against people refraining from making the purchase. The reason for this expectation is that the people buy cars only due to their need for a car and not on a whim and hence can not postpone their purchase indefinitely.
3. Closing Down of Factories
In order to stop the spread of the virus and curb the transmission, the various countries are shutting down the factories operating in their state. Since there is a need for workers to be present and working in factories for ensuring smooth and continuous production of cars, manufacturing is not going on. China is a major hub of car manufacturing, and as the disease originates from the country, many plants are shut down.
Many workers come in close contact in manufacturing plants, and hence they can act as hubs of disease transmission. Only the essential services are operational for limiting close human interaction and slowing down transmission. This is slowing down the manufacturing of cars around the world.
4. Need for Medical Equipment
Due to the sudden onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic, there is a sudden surge in demand for emergency medical equipment and protective gear. Many factories are also now producing face masks and ventilators as they are in acute shortage and are currently in high demand. Since the repurposing of factories is taking place, car manufacturing is coming to a standstill.
The manufacturers are not able to use their production line for the manufacture of cars. Hence, they can easily repurpose their plants to make the medical necessities by making slight modifications to the production line. They will need an expert to monitor and guide the production as the ventilators are complex machines. Manufacturers are working closely with government officials and health authorities for the production of ventilators.
5. Slow Down of International Trade
Due to the effect of globalization, every industry sources their raw materials and individual parts in different countries throughout the world for keeping the manufacturing cost low. Since some countries are stopping the production of materials due to the coronavirus, manufacturing plants all over the world are facing acute shortages.
The manufacturing plants of cars in other countries are also facing a shortage of parts and raw materials due to international trade restrictions in light of the current situation. This leads to the slow down or temporary stopping of the manufacturing process of cars around the world.
The virus is already present in every inhabitable continent throughout the world and almost every country is seeing a rapid spread of the disease amongst its population. As so, every country is imposing restrictions on the people venturing outside their homes for work and other needs to limit the spread of the pandemic.
The automobile industry is responding to the calls from the government to aid in manufacturing the face masks and ventilators in these trying times. The global economy is suffering and approaching a standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic and the automobile industry is also undergoing a crisis. As a responsible citizen, you must adhere to the regulations for curbing the spread of the disease and get back to normalcy in the fastest possible time.
Reference Links –
https://www.benzinga.com/news/20/03/15525971/coronavirus-another-severe-hit-to-the-automotive-industry https://finance.yahoo.com/news/coronavirus-another-severe-hit-automotive-135056364.html https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/auto/auto-news/auto-industry-stares-at-2-bn-loss-as-factories-and-dealers-shut-shop-to-stem-covid-19-contagion/articleshow/74782274.cms?from=mdr https://www.sme.org/technologies/articles/2020/march/coronavirus-impact-on-auto-industry-may-accelerate/ https://www.acea.be/press-releases/article/coronavirus-eu-auto-industry-faces-unprecedented-crisis https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51956880 https://www.autocarindia.com/industry/how-coronavirus-has-hit-the-global-auto-industry-a-timeline-416615 https://www.just-auto.com/news/updated-daily-automotive-coronavirus-briefing-free-to-read_id194210.aspx https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-threatens-auto-industrys-record-run-of-robust-sales-11584532801
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