In lieu of the flattening in the Coronavirus cases around the world, FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) and Honda are planning to restart production automobiles at the beginning of May 2020.
The number of cases in European countries already peaked in previous weeks when a lot of death cases raised in Spain and Italy. The cases in the UK also has reduced compared to how it was in the past few weeks.
Honda halted production on March 23 2020, when they noticed that a lot of consumers are unable to purchase vehicles due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It suspended production just to align product supply with a lack of product demands.
On the 7th of April, FCA said in a statement that it's working hand in hand with the government and unions to implement new ways/methods of automobile production that certify the wellness of its labor force and also redesigning it's work stations to maintain proper social distancing.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (Photo: ABC12)
The two automakers have dim fit May 1st as a time when their new implementation would have been government approved and fully functional. Honda's plants in Canada and the UK would be the first plants to resume these processes.
In my opinion, I still think nobody will purchase cars this period because everyone is saving their financial assets for this pandemic, preparing for the worst.
BMW also said last Monday (6th of April) that it's South Carolina Plant - the largest automotive exporting plant in the U.S.A - would remain closed throughout April and for now, no restart date has been stated. Hope we all know how BMW was the last automobile manufacturer to suspend production?
Some regions of Nigeria is still on the two weeks initial Lockdown (Lagos, Abuja, Oyo, and Ogun State) announced by the Federal government though it was due to end 12th of April. Lagos State-Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said in a statement on Monday (6th of April) that the lockdown might be extended by another two weeks.
>>> You should see the infographic on the effect of Coronavirus on the automobile industry of Nigeria.
The Coronavirus has affected many other businesses in Nigeria apart from the automobile market according to this video :
However, it seems like not a lot of Lagosians are taking the Lockdown issue seriously because pictures of social gatherings around Lagos have been taken over the internet since the beginning of last week. Over 200 people were spotted on the Apapa-Oshodi expressway around Gbagada axis partaking in fitness activities like jogging, aerobics, and others. Even in Abuja, a lot of people got arrested because they violated the Lockdown rules.
Lagosians gathering during Lockdown
There was also traffic on Lekki-Epe expressway on Monday morning and this just left a question in my mind, "who is really staying at home ?"
Lagos Traffic amidst Lockdown (Source: OnoBello)
As much as the Lockdown is for the benefit of the citizens, the government needs to do more on enforcement of this Lockdown by creating strict punishments for offenders caught roaming around the State without a reasonable cause relating to the pandemic.