CAR PARTS MAKER CLOSES ITALIAN PLANT, WARNS MORE TO COME


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MTA, a European manufacturer of auto electronics, has shut its plant in Codogno, Italy, and warns if the plant doesn’t reopen quickly its other European factories will halt production, which would stop the assembly lines at BMW, Peugeot, and FiatChrysler factories across the continent.
Europe’s carmakers and parts suppliers have relied on stockpiled components to weather the loss of shipments from China during the coronavirus outbreak so far. MTA’s announcement is the first indication that those stockpiles are running out.
China’s factories are gradually reopening after more than six weeks of widespread closures. But that won’t soon relieve Europe’s parts problem, analysts say.
China’s plants are restarting slowly with only 50 to 80 percent of workers returning; many are working from home when possible and others are still avoiding public transportation or personal contact for fear of the illness.
“What we are receiving today was shipped four to five weeks ago,” said Friedolin Strack, an official of BDI, a German industrial trade group. “The shortages will be coming in the next few weeks.”
 

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