The European auto industry is finally starting to feel the effects of the coronavirus outbreak. Two of the industry’s biggest names, Ferrari and Lamborghini, have responded to the crisis by completely halting production of vehicles until the end of the month.
On Saturday, Ferrari announced that it would temporarily suspend production at its Maranello and Modena plants until at least March 27. While the Italian automaker has already taken steps to ensure high health standards at its facilities, the marque said that the decision to stop production was made out of concern for the well-being of its employees.
“At a time like this, my gratitude goes first and foremost to Ferrari’s women and men who, with their tremendous commitment over the past few days, have demonstrated the passion and dedication that defines our marque,” CEO Louis Camilleri in a press release. “Together with our suppliers, they have ensured the company’s production. And it is out of our respect for them, for their peace of mind and those of their families that we have decided on this course of action.”
The company also said it is experiencing its “first serious supply chain issues.” Ferrari and other automakers outside of Asia have been bracing for disruption to supply chains for weeks because so many companies worldwide rely on parts produced in China. Many Chinese factories have suspended production, or at least heavily curtailed it, since the virus first emerged in December.
In addition to closing its road car-producing plants, Ferrari will also halt operations at its racing division, Scuderia Ferrari. The company, however, did say that all “non-manufacturing-related activity” will continue to operate normally.
The Ferrari news comes a day after Lamborghini made a similar announcement. The Sant’Agata Bolognese-based supercar manufacturer said it would suspend production until March 25. But a vague press release from the marque hinted that the suspension may last longer, saying only that the marque will restart production “in the right moment.”