The jobs of at least 1,110,107 Europeans working in automobile manufacturing are affected by factory shutdowns as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, according to data compiled by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association.
This figure only refers to those people directly employed by car, truck, van and bus manufacturers – the impact on the wider automotive supply chain is even more critical.
Europe’s automakers are calling for immediate support from the European Union and member states after suffering a production loss that could render companies short of cash in just weeks.
Industry association ACEA demanded “strong and co-ordinate action” to aid manufacturers, their suppliers and dealers who all face a “severe” financial hit.
“The effect of the coronavirus on the automobile industry is unprecedented,” said ACEA Director General Eric-Mark Huitema. “It is becoming increasingly clear that Covid-19 has led to the worst crisis ever to impact the automotive sector.”
Aston Martin has confirmed 2,000 orders for its Welsh-made DBX suv due to be in showrooms this summer but has temporarily laid off workers.
However, despite a £536M injection by a private group the luxury car maker which opened its St Athan plant in December said it may still need to draw on expensive loans to continue projected developments over 12 months or more, having been hit by a sales slowdown and effects of the coronavirus.
EU-wide production losses due to factory shutdowns amount to at least 1,231,038 motor vehicles so far. The average shutdown duration is 16 working days at the moment. Production losses are obviously set to increase if shutdowns are extended or additional plants are brought to a halt.
ACEA has published this information in two interactive maps visually showing the impact on the automobile industry for each of the 27 EU member states plus the United Kingdom, both in terms of the number of employees affected and lost production in units.
In total 2.6 million direct manufacturing jobs are provided by the EU automotive industry, with vehicle makers operating 229 vehicle assembly and production plants across the region. The wider auto sector provides indirect and direct jobs for 13.8 million people in the European Union.
“Right now, the primary concern of ACEA and all its members is to manage the immediate crisis facing the auto industry, which has essentially come to an abrupt halt – something the sector has never experienced before,” stated Eric-Mark Huitema, ACEA Director General.
“Our first priority is to protect the health and jobs of the almost 14 million Europeans who work directly or indirectly in our sector.”