Ferrari factory operational despite coronavirus restrictions
9 March 2020 - autocar
Ferrari says its Maranello factory is operating as usual, despite being inside the region of Italy placed under strict quarantine measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
According to officials, 7375 people in the country have tested positive for the Covid-19 disease as of today (9 March). To try to control the spread, the Italian government has introduced strict measures on the Lombardy region and 14 provinces, impacting around 16 million people. The region includes Ferrari’s Maranello base.
In a statement, Ferrari noted the measures allowed for “continued working activity” and said: “Ferrari has activated all of the measures necessary to allow their employees to conduct their working activity in the best possible condition and therefore, at this moment in time, confirms its operational continuity. This continuity is obviously subject to that of our suppliers with whom we are in constant contact.
“Ferrari remains in ongoing discussions with the authorities and is ready to adapt its security measures with regard to the evolving situation in the knowledge that the safeguard of the health and wellbeing of its employees is of absolute priority.”
Speaking to Autocar on Friday, before the quarantine was announced, Ferrari commercial chief Enrico Galliera said that the firm had “taken very necessary actions to take all the protocols and precautions that we are required to, and in fact slightly more, to protect our employees and production.”
Galliera said those steps included limited access to the factory, including a suspension of plant tours. He added: “Our supply chain is still in place and we’re carefully monitoring supplies. We don't see any short-term problems. It helps that we don’t sell based on availability but based on our order book. That helps us to manage future production.”
Meanwhile, Ferrari’s Formula 1 team says its plans for this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne are still “going ahead” despite the travel restrictions. It noted that part of its team and equipment were already in Australia for the event and that it was in contact with Italian authorities.
It said: “Departures for the remaining members of the team are going ahead as programmed unless we receive communications to the contrary.”
Coronavirus: other impacts on the car industry
- Bahrain Grand Prix organisers have announced the event will run behind closed doors, without spectators, in a bid to limit the spread of the virus. The 22 March race is due to be the second of the 2020 F1 season and will now be the first ever to take place without the paying public present. The Chinese GP has already been postponed.
- The Formula E event due to take place in Rome, Italy on 4 April has been postponed, with organisers aiming to run it later in the year. It's the second Formula E event to be delayed due to the virus, following the postponement of the race in Sanya, China that was scheduled for 21 March.
- New car sales in China slumped by 80% in February, according to data from the China Passenger Car Association. The body did note that average sales rose in the final week of the month, however, as restrictions in parts of the country less affected by the coronavirus were gradually lifted.