Supply chain disruptions from the global spread of the new coronavirus have yet to show their full impact on production, analysts at the Center for Automotive Research say.
In a webinar held March 11, Kristin Dziczek, vice president of Ann Arbor, Mich.-based CAR, said the global effect of coronavirus to automotive supply chains is "going to start to bite" soon.
"As the virus spreads, we're going to see greater disruptions of parts supplies from other parts of the world," Dziczek said. "Certainly, this is an industry that's had many disruptions. We had the earthquake and tsunami in 2011 [in Japan]. There's often a supplier fire or natural disaster that takes something out, and there's been virus transmissions regionally and not quite as fast spreading as this one."
But changes in the automotive industry since the SARS outbreak in China in 2002, she said, have resulted in a supply consolidation to a smaller number of platforms, meaning the supply network is more shared by global automakers.
"So while [automakers] may be making a platform vehicle in seven or eight different factories around the world, that supply chain is fairly shared and integrated," Dziczek said. "Impacts to suppliers are going to have a greater multipliers across the factories ... for a particular automaker."
Many suppliers and automakers have reported keeping two or more months' supply of parts inventory, Dziczek said, adding that the inventories are a buffer, but may just "delay visibility of the problem."