Fiat to halt operations at plant in Serbia due to lack of parts from China

Stoppage marks first time a European car plant is to idle due to coronavirus outbreak

Fiat will reschedule planned downtime at its Kragujevac plant in Serbia, a company spokesman said. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/EPA

Fiat will reschedule planned downtime at its Kragujevac plant in Serbia, a company spokesman said. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/EPA

 

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will halt operations at its assembly plant in Serbia due to a lack of parts from China, as the coronavirus continues to affect production around the world.

The stoppage will mark the first time a European carmaker has had to idle a facility in Europe due to problems linked to the virus. Auto makers to date have mainly had to contend with shutdowns in China itself.

The Italian-American carmaker will reschedule planned downtime at its Kragujevac plant in Serbia, a company spokesman said, citing “the availability of certain components sourced in China.”

Fiat is in the process of securing future supply of those affected parts and production will be restarted later this month, the spokesman said.

The halt to works at the Turin, Italy-based automaker’s Kragujevac facility, which produces the Fiat 500L, is linked to a lack of audio-system and other electronic parts sourced from China, people familiar with the matter said earlier Friday.

Output at the plan totalled about 40,000 units last year, Serbian media reported, or a quarter of total capacity. Fiat doesn’t expect the change in scheduling to impact the total production forecast for the month, the spokesman said.

Belgrade daily Danas reported earlier on the Italian car maker’s move to halt works at the plant. – Bloomberg