How Did the Global Automotive Industry Respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Published by on . Updated on 19 May 2020

Toyota 1872023b(Photo Credit: Telegraph)

Automakers across the world have declared temporary shutdowns in epic proportions since the outbreak of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. In fact, with cases surpassing the three million mark and death tolls surpassing 200,000, these shutdowns might even be extended beyond their original due dates.

In the United States alone, the Bureau of Labour Statistics estimates that there are approximately 1 million people employed in the automotive industry. This shows the significance of the automotive industry to the livelihoods of many people.

Similarly in Singapore, many auto dealers and businesses were forced to rethink their business strategies in order to remain afloat during this difficult period.

In this article, we take a look at what some of our favourite car brands are doing across the world.


Blue Bmw Sedan Near Green Lawn Grass 170811(Photo Credits: Pexels)

German automaker BMW has announced that it will resume its production plant in Spartanburg in California on 4 May.

According to the President and CEO of BMW Manufacturing in the US, the company “has taken many precautionary measures to provide a safe workplace for our associates”.


Photo Of Parked Red Honda 2779447(Photo Credit: Pexels)

Japanese automaker Honda, responsible for the popular local model Vezel, was one of the first company to announce a halt in production on March 23 in the US.

Initially, it was scheduled to end after a week, but it currently expects to resume production in the US only on 8 May 2020.


Black Hyundai Palisade Car In A Garage 3894035(Photo Credits: Pexels)

South Korean automaker Hyundai is set to resume production in May in India.

Along with Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motor India Ltd controls nearly 70% of the domestic passenger vehicle market in India.

It is reported that Hyundai are likely to operate at minimal capacity of about 20-30%, depending on approval and permission from the local authorities.


Auto 1056653 1920(Photo Credit: Pixabay)

Fellow South Korean automaker Kia, which is responsible for the economical models of cars in the local motor scene, had earlier suspended its manufacturing plant in Georgia, USA.

In response to a nationwide shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the US, KIA has announced that its manufacturing plant will be used to manufacture face shields instead.

Kudos to Kia for contributing to the fight against the novel coronavirus!


Automobile 1840414 1920(Photo Credits: Pixabay)

Fellow Japanese automaker Mazda announced on March 24, that “production adjustments” will be in place at production facilities both in and outside Japan.

According to Mazda on 22 April 2020, due to extenuating circumstances, “production adjustments” will continue beyond April 27.


Mercedes 3417100 1920(Photo Credits: Pixabay)

German automaker Mercedes has restarted vehicle production in Hungary. It was previously suspended on 20 March 2020.

In a statement from the company, it mentioned that “more than 120 measures have been taken at the plant to ensure compliance with social distancing rules”.


Nissan 885308 1280(Photo Credits: Pixabay)

Japanese automaker Nissan is set to slash car production in May 2020 by 78% in comparison with last year.

As automakers around the world reel from declining sales amid lockdowns imposed in many countries, it seems that the hit is particularly severe for Nissan.

Profits have already been deteriorating as it grapples with the turmoil that followed with the ousting of Carlos Ghosn as chairman.


Porsche 4795517 1920(Photo Credits: Pixabay)

Luxury automaker Porsche previously announced on 18 March that they would stop all production in its German plants to protect its employees.

The hiatus was scheduled to last two weeks but has since been extended.

However, the production of Porsche is scheduled to restart on a “site and task specific basis” at its plants in Zuffenhausen and Leipzig, Germany.


Cross Speed 4814979 1920(Photo Credits: Pixabay)

Perhaps the epitome of reliability, Japanese automaker Toyota announced that manufacturing operations in North America will resume in the week of 11 May instead of 4 May 2020 due to concerns about the coronavirus.

According to Toyota, it intends to “gradually resume its manufacturing operation in compliance with federal health and safety guidelines, and local and state ordinances where our facilities are located”.


Volkswagen 2430159 1920(Photo Credits: Pixabay)

German automakers Volkswagen initially planned to resuming production in Tennessee, USA, on 3 May 2020.

However, it has since mentioned that it will be indefinably delaying the resumption of production.

Volkswagen also said that it will “weigh the readiness of the supplier base, as well as market demand and the status of the COVID-19 outbreak”.

Download the Motorist App

The easiest and smartest way to manage your vehicle in Singapore.

Download Now

Read More: Why Hasn't Petrol Prices in Singapore Changed?

Download the new Motorist App now. Designed by drivers for drivers, this all-in-one app lets you receive the latest traffic updates, gives you access to live traffic cameras, and helps you manage LTA and vehicle matters.

Did you know we have a Motorist Telegram Channel? Created exclusively for drivers and car owners in Singapore, you can get instant info about our latest promotions, articles, tips & hacks, or simply chat with the Motorist Team and fellow drivers.