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How the Auto Industry Is Reshaping to Deal with the Implications of the Coronavirus

Among the many industries that were heavily affected during the Coronavirus pandemic, the auto industry is undoubtedly one of those that were hit the heaviest. The issues came from many sides, and while some companies were able to adapt to the situation and move on with relatively few issues, that wasn’t the case for the majority of players on the market. At this point, it’s clear that something must be done in the longer term to ensure the survival of the auto industry as a whole, but there have been different arguments with regards to what the most adequate options are right now.

How the Situation Is Changing

Carla Bailo, who currently heads the Center for Automotive Research in Michigan, has voiced particular concerns about the situation, describing it as literal warfare. In her words, “There’s really a war. There’s a war on this virus. It’s a war that we haven’t fought and it’s a war on our own shores and with our neighbors. The rallying together we’ve seen not only from our industry from a number of industries, a number of foundations, a number of persons in our community has really been amazing.”

Various changes have hit the market, including the total shutdown of some production facilities in order to face the situation in a more adequate manner. Some of those facilities have been retooled to support the healthcare sector in various ways, mostly by producing things like masks and other items that are needed a lot right now.

Technology Is One of the Main Helpers

And it’s clear that the success in maintaining order would not have been there without the active involvement of the technological sector. Tech has been at the forefront of making everything possible when it comes to preserving order in the industry, and we’ve already seen a lot of developments that have been in direct assistance to those in troubled situations right now. And yet, even the most active companies don’t seem to be equipped properly to deal with a situation like this at the moment.

This was echoed in sentiments by Colin Dhillon, CTO of the Automotive Parts Manufacturing Association of Canada, who said “The challenge is a lot of these medical companies that manufacture things like ventilators, whether they’re transport types or ICU types, their annual volumes are a fraction of what they need, so a company that might sell 3,000 ICU type ventilators..that’s a large volume order”.

This Affects Everyone

And that brings us to our next important point – whether we want to admit it or not, this situation extends far beyond the immediate reach of the automotive sector. Because this sector is tightly connected to so many others, and the impact has been spreading like wildfire across the board. Owner of said that It’s hard to predict how everything is going to come down in the future, but it’s becoming clear at this point that many changes will have to be made in order to preserve the stability of the market.

Small Costs Can Add Up

Small things like purchasing a single N95 mask can add up quickly for those who have to bear those costs. And while many manufacturers have been doing their best to assist the situation, like we described above, it does seem like a lot more will have to happen before we can fully weigh the costs of what’s going on. Some businesses have attempted to tone down their spending in response to the situation, but cutting corners can only go that far before it hits back at the company itself. 

The important thing right now is to prepare for the future as best as possible, and there are many options for that, even if it doesn’t seem like it. As we pointed out, small differences can stack up quite fast, and it’s going to take a while before we’re certain about the big picture. Following the development of other markets, not just the automotive one, is important as well, because the connection between them cannot be ignored at this point. And this link is only going to get more pronounced as time goes by, even if the virus dies down in the next months.




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Amita Choudhary

Amita Choudhary

Marketing Manager

Princeton Growth Accelerator

Member since

07 Jun 2020



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