Wuhan-based Dongfeng Honda approved to resume operation
A written official reply laid bare online revealed that the Wuhan-based joint venture Dongfeng Honda and its suppliers have been approved by a local authority to resume operation, nearly fifty days after the city went into lockdown due to the novel coronavirus.
This is definitely an inspiring sign that shows the contagious epidemic has been effectively contained in the epicenter. To prevent a wider virus spread, Wuhan and other cities in Hubei province have quarantined themselves and pushed the “pause” button over their own development for nearly two months. According to the provincial command, companies in Hubei were requested to restart work no earlier than March 11.
Dongfeng Honda, one of sales drivers to Wuhan's automobile industry, has three complete vehicle manufacturing plants at Wuhan Economic Technological Development Zone. Two of which feature a combined capacity of 512,000 vehicles per year, while the third one, which kicked off operation last year, is designed to have an annual capacity of 120,000 units for its first phase. The prolonged shutdown is likely to bring down the full-year outputs.
For the first two months, there were 77,400 consumers took delivery of the joint venture's vehicles, a year-on-year decrease of 19.5%, according to Honda's China branch. The company no doubt took hit during the anti-epidemic hit, while its Jan. retail sales jumped 21.3% to 73,597 units, in spite of the Spring Festival holiday.
It is roughly estimated that Hubei province accounted for 8.8% of China's total auto outputs in 2019. The virus-caused lockdown significantly dents the whole auto market. One of consequences is that the country's locally-produced PV outputs tumbled 80.9% over a year earlier to only 216,041 units in Feb., according to the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA). Besides, the wholesale volume and retail sales all represented sharp slump from the year-ago period.
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