Automakers scramble as Shanghai locks down

The new GM logo is seen on the facade of the General Motors headquarters in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., March 16, 2021. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

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SHANGHAI, March 29 (Reuters) – The COVID-19 lockdown in Shanghai disrupted car production on Tuesday as a major supplier joined Tesla’s TSLA.O in shutting down a factory to comply with lockdown measures. controlling the spread of coronavirus.

The Shanghai joint venture of General Motors Co (GM.N) has kept production going by asking workers to sleep in factories and securing passes for trucks to continue deliveries, two people familiar with the news said. case.

A key automotive supplier, Aptiv PLC (APTV.N), told workers at one of its Shanghai facilities that supply the Tesla and GM joint venture in Shanghai to return home on Tuesday due to the need to enforce controls COVID, people briefed on the measure said. Read more

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Aptiv’s shutdown came on the second day of a lockdown in Shanghai, home to 26 million people and a major hub for manufacturing vehicles and other goods. The city has instituted strict controls on the movement of people in an attempt to control the spread of the highly infectious variant of Omicron.

The lockdown, one of the biggest tests of China’s “zero-COVID” strategy, has forced automakers and suppliers to either try to adapt with extreme measures to keep factories running, or to close and risk delayed shipments at a time when demand for vehicles is strong.

German automaker Bosch said on Tuesday its two Shanghai factories were working with reduced staff. “We are doing everything we can to maintain supply chains as much as possible and to meet our customers’ demands,” the company said in a statement.

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GM’s steps to keep its Shanghai plant open align with a “closed-loop” management process, which the Chinese financial hub has asked companies to adopt to stay open during a two-stage lockdown to fight its outbreak. .

In this bubble-like arrangement, workers sleep, live and work in isolation from the rest of the world to prevent transmission of the virus. A similar system was used at the Beijing Winter Olympics to isolate event staff from the public.

The facility, which GM operates in a joint venture with Chinese state-owned automaker SAIC Motor Corp (600104.SS), produces Buick, Chevrolet and Cadillac vehicles. The facilities are in areas east of Shanghai’s Huangpu River that were closed Monday through Friday.


GM, which said Monday its Shanghai joint venture was producing normally, declined to comment on arrangements at its plant. A spokesperson said the company and its joint ventures have developed and are executing contingency plans with their suppliers to mitigate uncertainty related to COVID-19. SAIC did not immediately comment.

SAIC-GM’s ability to maintain production lines in Shanghai contrasts with that of Tesla Inc , which Reuters reported suspended production for the four-day period. He was unable to secure sufficient provisions for his workers to achieve closed-loop management, a source said. Read more

Workers at the affected Aptiv site were told to stay home on Wednesday and await further notice, the four sources told Reuters. Two of the sources said the affected compound is produced for Tesla and GM’s Shanghai joint venture with SAIC.

Aptiv’s facilities in Shanghai are in the west of the city and were unaffected by the city’s lockdown, which started in the eastern districts. The sources said workers at the affected facility were told it had to close due to COVID-19 concerns.

Aptiv declined to comment on the production suspension. “I can confirm that we are tracking all government orders and not affecting customer production,” an Aptiv spokesperson said. Tesla, GM and SAIC had no immediate comment.

Apple supplier Foxconn (2317.TW), TCL Corp (000100.SZ) and Apple supplier Shenzhen Deren Electronic Co Ltd (002055.SZ) managed to maintain production in southern China this month thanks to a closed-loop management after manufacturing centers such as Shenzhen and Dongguan were hit with similar lockdowns. Read more

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Reporting by Zhang Yan and Norihiko Shirouzu; written by Brenda Goh; edited by Paul Simao and Jonathan Oatis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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