How Is the Coronavirus Affecting the Auto Industry?

The impact varies from nation to nation

Parking lot
How might the coronavirus affect the auto world?
Julo/Creative Commons
By Tobias Carroll / March 7, 2020 8:20 am

As the last few weeks have show, the effects of the coronavirus are being felt in places far removed from hospitals and research facilities — including the cancelation of this year’s SXSW and a host of safety measures enacted for sporting events in Italy.

Another area that the coronavirus might impact is automotive — and on Friday at Jalopnik, Tom McParland explored the question of whether or not it would affect car prices. McParland notes that the effects of the coronavirus on car-buying seems to differ from country to country; as of now, it’s had a more serious effect in China than in the United States.

He adds that other factors, which have nothing to do with the coronavirus, might play a part in questions of car pricing. “Even without the virus, most analysts are predicting that 2020 will not be as strong as previous years and the overall situation may result in better deals,” he writes.

Giving the fluctuating situation surrounding the coronavirus in the United States, things could change. A recent article from WNEM, located near Flint, argues that coronavirus is impacting Michigan’s auto industry, for instance. In a February article for Forbes, Dale Buss wrote that coronavirus’s effect on supply chains is very real, but it’s one of several factors affecting the American auto industry right now.

The United States and China aren’t the only countries where cars are made, though — and several other nations are beginning to report that coronavirus-related supply chain issues are affecting their domestic auto industry. An alarming report from Brazil was released on Friday, and a number of Indian automakers have also reported issues with production.

How the coronavirus affects the auto industry is connected to how it will affect economies global and local — and right now, the full scope of that remains unknown.

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