MILAN -- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles obtained permission to retrieve critical parts from a supplier in an area in northern Italy locked down following the country's coronavirus outbreak.
Three of FCA's car plants in Italy and a joint venture van factory with PSA Group were threatened with production stops because MTA Advanced Automotive Solutions could not deliver essential electronics parts.
MTA's headquarters and main production center in Codogno, 60 km (37 miles) southeast of Milan, has been closed since Monday after the town became the center of a coronavirus outbreak responsible for 12 deaths and more than 370 confirmed cases of the virus.
Italian authorities ordered factories in Codogno and nine nearby towns to suspend non-essential activities to help prevent the spread of the virus. People are not allowed to enter or leave the towns.
MTA said FCA's plants in Mirafiori, Cassino and Melfi and its Sevel joint venture with PSA would run out of MTA parts without regular parts deliveries. Renault, BMW, PSA Group and Jaguar Land Rover could also be hit, the supplier said.
MTA CEO Antonio Falchetti said FCA obtained permission to enter the locked-down area because of the threat to the automaker's production. He said FCA sent a truck from an outside contractor to collect the parts after the Italian government's local representative signed a waiver.
An FCA spokesperson confirmed that a waiver was obtained allowing the automaker access the MTA plant. FCA currently does not envisage any plant closures in Italy due to the virus outbreak, the spokesperson said.
A Renault spokeswoman confirmed that MTA was a supplier. The automaker's supply and purchasing department is evaluating the situation, the spokeswoman told Automotive News Europe.
BMW is monitoring the situation and has yet to encounter difficulties finding needed parts, a spokeswoman told the New York Times.