The measure adds pressure to the depressed Argentine automotive sector, which had been suffering a constant drop in sales of 0Km units
The Renault group announced on Tuesday the suspension of production in Latin America until further notice due to the coronavirus, which will affect 9,000 workers in four countries, announced the French manufacturer in a statement.
“In order to protect workers in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and in compliance with the measures adopted by different governments, the Renault Group suspended production activities at the Santa Isabel factories in Córdoba in Argentina, Curitiba in Brazil ( 4 plants) and Envigado in Colombia, “reads a statement from the company.
Cormecanica’s Chilean plant in Los Andes is preparing to suspend production “starting March 26.”
This suspension of industrial activity will affect 9,000 workers spread over 7 plants in the four countries.
The French group plans to resume production as soon as conditions allow and will take “appropriate measures to respond effectively to commercial demand”.
Argentina: collapse in patents
Registered sales of 0 kilometer vehicles closed early in March with only 17,739 patented units, relative figure due to the fact that there will be no possibility of new patents in the remainder of the month due to the validity of the preventive and compulsory social isolation, and despite the fact that operations are still being carried out by electronic commerce.
According to the Association of Automotive Concessionaires (Acara), until the closing of yesterday, hours prior to the communication of the isolation, 17,739 units had been patented between cars and light commercials, 54% lower than the 38,864 sales registered in March 2019, before the stoppage of activity in dealerships and automotive registrations throughout the country in the remainder of this month.
March had been growing 5% in the daily average compared to February, and ends up showing an unpublished number for March for having ended 10 days earlier than usual, lamented the entity.
Activity levels up to March 15 suggested a scenario with a drop of less than 20% by 2020, but not knowing the extent of the fall in general economic activity due to the coronavirus epidemic, today it is impossible to predict how the current year will end.
“It is very difficult to make an accurate analysis with the amount of events that are happening in our country”, explained Ricardo Salomé, president of Acara.
According to the executive, “we must spend these weeks with special attention to the health of the population, the time will come to rethink, along with the factories and the union, the incentives, sales targets and demands.”
“In a situation like this, we all have to make our positions more flexible in order to find the way back to continue,” he added.
For his part, the entity’s general secretary, Rubén Beato, said: “We join in prioritizing the health of all Argentines over any sector interest and then we will see how we can recover and resume the positive line of work that we had with the Government and a united sector “.
According to Beato, “the daily average of operations for March had been showing activity and consultations with respect to February, and it seemed that we were heading to leave behind the last four years, of deterioration, fierce indebtedness and destruction of the internal market.”
“This hasty end of the month leaves us with more doubts than certainties, because what we are experiencing, its extent and impact”he concluded.
In this sense, from Acara they added that “the sale in the concessionaires is still active through digital channels, operations that will be finalized with the patents in the next month.”
With the 17,739 units registered in March, the first quarter of the year ended with just 90,392 patents accumulated.
The number of patented vehicles during February had fallen 32.2% compared to the same month of 2019, with a cumulative retraction of 28% in the first two months, which allowed to project a market of automotive vehicles 0 km lower than 370,000 units in 2020.
By brand, the month ended with Toyota in the lead (3,028 units, 17.6%), followed by Volkswagen (2,568, 14.9%), Chevrolet (2,547, 14.8%), Renault (1,667, 9.7 %) and Fiat (1,661, 9.6%).
By models, the ranking was led by the Chevrolet Onix, among the cars, with 1,626 units; followed by Toyota Etios (823) and Volkswagen Gol Trend (687); and the Toyota Hilux, among the utilities, with 1,136 units; away from the Volkswagen Amarok (481) and Ford Ranger (323).
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