Despite automotive plants closing down in Europe owing to the Covid-19 outbreak, South African vehicle production sites are still operational.
The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) on Tuesday said that there were no production disruptions in the pipeline at any of the country’s vehicle plants.
The association said it would use its Supply Chain Committee to monitor any production constraints, such as parts shortages, locally and globally.
“We will keep the market timeously informed should there be material changes in this regard.”
The CEOs of the major vehicle manufacturers in South Africa, which include BMW, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Nissan, Ford and Isuzu, a senior representative of the group of independent vehicle importers, as well as executive committee members of vehicle components manufacturers, met on Tuesday morning
to discuss the automotive industry’s collective response to the Covid-19 virus.
In order to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus, the industry decided to implement a number of adjustments to some of the industry’s standard operating procedures, effective immediately, said Naamsa.
These include the cancellation of all tours at vehicle manufacturing plants, as well as face-to-face meetings, in favour of online discussions.
The number of seats at canteens will also be reduced and extended time slots for lunch breaks will be implemented to allow for smaller groups in canteen areas.
Hot meals will be served in disposable containers with disposable cutlery.
The roll-out of hand sanitisers has also started in many manufacturing plants and offices.
All auto industry facilities will also remove all towel dispensers and replace them with paper towels.
All international travel is prohibited until further notice.
All employees returning from international travel must undergo a self-imposed 14-day quarantine.
In-bound overseas visits will be cancelled until further notice.
The South African automotive industry contributes 6.9% to South Africa’s gross domestic product.
Total automotive revenue in South Africa amounted to R503-billion in 2018.
The industry accounts for 30.1% of the country’s manufacturing output.
Renault, Volkswagen, Fiat Chrysler and PSA have all shuttered some, or all of their European plants as the Covid-19 virus wreaks havoc in Europe.