Volvo expects to lose at least two weeks’ worth of sales, production and supply deliveries in China because of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, CEO Hakan Samuelsson said Thursday.
“China has come to a standstill, and that will affect our company, as well as other companies,” Samuelsson told Automotive News Europe on a call to discuss Volvo’s 2019 fourth quarter and annual financial results.
Volvo Cars, which is a brand of the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, a Chinese company, sold 154,961 cars in China in 2019, a 19 percent increase in a market that fell by 7.4 percent overall. China is its largest individual country market, although it sold more than 341,000 cars in Europe in 2019.
Volvo has a number of factories in China. It makes the XC60 midsize SUV in Chengdu, the XC40 compact SUV in Luqiao and the S90 large sedan in Daqing. In addition, Volvo’s Polestar electric sub-brand has opened a separate factory in Chengdu. It also has several engine assembly plants.
Those facilities have remained closed after the New Year holiday break, Samuelsson said. “We’re following the recommendations of local authorities, which means we avoid bringing people together, the factories have not opened, and people are requested to stay home and avoid contact,” he said.
“It’s like time has stopped,” he said of the situation in China. “It’s basically two weeks of sales, of production, of supply chain that have been taken out.”