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ASEAN auto parts hub buckles under virus outbreaks


Coronavirus outbreaks tearing through Southeast Asia have triggered a wave of production cuts at automotive suppliers, with the ripple effect shutting down assembly plants far beyond the region.

Swiss chipmaker STMicroelectronics was informed this month that a factory in the southern Malaysian state of Johor would have to suspend operations. More than 200 workers have been infected, according to local authorities. The facility has been halted on and off since July.

Although the factory has resumed operations, the repercussions continue to be felt. Plant activity should have been robust, given the global semiconductor shortage, but the shutdowns have taken a toll on deliveries. Malaysia has logged more than 20,000 new COVID cases per day. The government imposed its first nationwide lockdown in June. With staffing at automakers and parts factories limited to just 10% of capacity, output in certain states had virtually ground to a halt for an extended period

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