January 10, 2019 / 8:24 PM / 6 days ago

Mexico auto industry warns of plant suspensions if gasoline crisis worsens

People stand in line at a gas station, in Mexico City, Mexico January 9, 2019. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Some Mexican auto plants may end up suspending operations if the government does not quickly resolve widespread gasoline shortages stemming from President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s efforts to end fuel theft, an industry group warned on Thursday.

Eduardo Solis, the president of the Mexican Auto Industry Association, called for “urgent attention” from the government to avoid a bigger crisis.

“We need logistics to flow and that’s why, when there are blockages, our operations are put at risk. We are worried because it could lead to the suspension of a plant,” Solis said.

Long lines of cars have formed at gas stations in Mexico’s capital and several states since early this week as the government crackdown on fuel theft leads to slower fuel distribution.

Some workers were having difficulty commuting to their jobs and there was a risk some auto parts would not be delivered on time, Solis said.

Guillermo Rosales, deputy director general of the Mexican Association of Automobile Distributors, said he had been informed of delays in new car deliveries in Michoacan state.

“There is a real impact on the economy and the daily life of those of us who work in the affected areas,” Rosales said.

Reporting by Sharay Angulo; Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Dan Grebler

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