March 20, 2020 / 6:29 PM / 19 days ago

Coronavirus shutdown to cut Europe, Americas auto production by 1.44 million: IHS Markit

FILE PHOTO: Commercial trucks cross over the Ambassador Bridge, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at the international border crossing, which connects with Windsor, Ontario, in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., March 18, 2020. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

(Reuters) - As carmakers grapple with growing signs of coronavirus damage, vehicle production could be reduced by about 1.44 million in Europe, North America and Latin America, according to an estimate by information provider IHS Markit.

Automakers across the world have announced plans to idle factories as they conduct additional sanitation and cleaning procedures, raising concerns that extended periods of downtime could significantly hit the companies’ profits.

The stoppage of work would cut European auto production by over 880,000 units, considering plants are shut for an average of 13 working days in the region, IHS Markit said on Friday.

North America car production is likely to be curtailed by 478,000 units, factoring in an average downtime of six working days, while output in Brazil and Argentina combined would be hit by about 80,000 units, assuming closures between eight and 15 days, the firm said.

“Even if production does only halt for the announced periods of time, the assembly ramp-up phase that follows will cause further impacts,” said Henner Lehne, vice president, global vehicle group, IHS Markit.

About 89 million light vehicles were produced globally in 2019, according to IHS Markit.

Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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