The FIAT Chrysler plant in Serbia has become the first car factory in Europe to stop production because of the coronavirus, the Srna news agency said on Friday.
It added that the management at the plant in the city of Kragujevac decided to suspend production because parts from China were not being imported because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Bloomberg reported that the FIAT Chrysler Automobiles decided to “halt operations at its assembly plant in Serbia due to a lack of parts from China, as the coronavirus continues to affect production around the world”. The stoppage will mark the first time a European carmaker has had to idle a facility in Europe due to problems linked to the virus. Auto makers to date have mainly had to contend with shutdowns in China itself, it added.
A plant spokesman said that production time will be rescheduled depending on “the availability of certain components sourced in China.” The spokesman added that Fiat is trying to secure future supplies of the affected parts to restart production later this month, adding that the company does not expect an impact on total production for the month.
The plant in Kragujevac assembles the Fiat 500 and had an output of about 40,000 cars last year which is a quarter of its total capacity.