Production at General Motors‘ plant in Wuhan, China will not resume until March 10th due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
The automaker had previously planned to resume production at its Wuhan plant on February 15th following an extended Lunar New Year shutdown due to the coronavirus. The plant remained closed as the shutdown in the Hubei province, with GM now releasing a revised timeline for when it expects employees to return to work.
“But given Hubei Province’s extended shutdown until March 10th, we are adjusting the restart of the Wuhan Plant to be in line with the government’s updated arrangements,” GM spokesman David Barnas told The Detroit Free Press.
Barnas also told the newspaper that GM is closely monitoring the coronavirus situation in China and will “adjust our schedules in line with local government’s updated arrangements for the resumption of production.”
The Wuhan plant employs nearly 6,000 people and builds a number of different Chevrolet and Buick vehicles, including the Buick Excelle. The facility, which opened its doors in early 2015, is one 15 production plants GM and its joint venture partner, SAIC-Wuling, operate in China. It has an annual production capacity of 360,000 vehicles.
Coronavirus also has the potential to affect GM production outside of China, as well. Production at the automaker’s large Bupyeong assembly complex just outside of Seoul may also be in jeopardy, with South Korea reporting over 2,000 cases as of last week. A parts shortage due to stalled production at Chinese suppliers temporarily paused production at the plant earlier this month, but it remains fully operational for the time being.
“In terms of our Korean manufacturing operations, we are monitoring the situation closely,” Barnas told the Free Press.
Hyundai was forced to shut down one of its South Korea factories this week after a worker tested positive for coronavirus. That plant builds a number of popular Hyundai crossovers including the Palisade and the Santa Fe.
GM production in North America has not been affected due to parts shortages caused by plant shutdowns in China or elsewhere, the automaker also confirmed.
The World Health Organization claims there are 80,239 confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide as of this writing. It has also lead to an alleged 2,777 deaths in China and another 36 outside of the country.
Source: The Detroit Free Press