Schaeffler, Magneti Marelli, Webasto, Veoneer and ZF Friedrichshafen have joined Robert Bosch and Continental on the growing list of global partsmakers that will stop or slow production in Europe to cope with falling demand from automakers, which have halted output throughout the region to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
Schaeffler will "adjust its production capacities in Germany and Europe," the company said. "Adjustments will be made location by location and will consider the specific requirements in the divisions."
Marelli said on Friday it would suspend work at most of its European plants next week. The lighting supplier last week already halted its operations in Italy until March 27.
Italian brakes specialist Brembo said on Thursday it would extend until March 29 the temporary closure of its four plants, located in Bergamo and Brescia in the northern Lombardy region, the epicenter of the pandemic in Italy.
German roof specialist Webasto has closed a plant in Les Chatelliers-Chateaumur, France, and a factory in Turin, Italy, Chairman Holger Engelmann said in a statement send to Automotive News Europe. "We expect that we will have to cut back production, particularly in Europe and in the U.S. as well," he said. Webasto said that it was still determining which of its locations will be affected and for how long.
Swedish supplier Veoneer's factories in Sweden, France and Canada are running at "very low levels," a company spokesman told ANE.
Bosch, based in Stuttgart, said on Friday that it will be drastically cutting back operations at its German locations starting March 25. The move will affect 35 locations of its mobility solutions business sector in Germany, as well as locations performing corporate functions, the supplier said.
In taking this measure, "the company is reacting to the drastic drop in demand for vehicles, especially in Europe, and the associated production shutdowns by automakers," Bosch said in a news release.
Earlier the supplier had suspended work or reduced production at its factories in France, Italy and Spain.
Continental, based in Hanover, has said it would stop production at its factories, without giving details about when and where that would happen.
German supplier Mahle said its European production sites will be successively closed down in a controlled manner by Wednesday, March 25. The measures will affect some 70 locations across Europe, the company said in a statement on Friday.
German megasupplier, ZF, is taking steps to slow or stop production in its home market, where it has asked the government for help covering salaries during the crisis. Webasto is also considering asking for aid, a spokeswoman told ANE.
About 76,700 companies said this week they would apply for state assistance that allows them to keep people employed but switches them to shorter hours (Kurzarbeit in German), the country's labor office said on Friday. The government takes over a portion of the worker's salary and the company covers the rest in a bid to avoid mass layoffs.
Volvo has activated similar programs in Sweden and the U.S. to help employees affected by its decision to stop production at four plants. The automaker's three plants in Sweden and its lone American factory will be closed from March 26 until April 14.
In Sweden, 94 percent of plant workers' salaries will be paid by the company with support from the government. The same pay scheme is in place for non-factory workers, however many of them will still be working 60 percent of their regular hours.
In the U.S., plant workers will receive 80 percent of their salaries, with 44 percent coming from Volvo and 36 percent from the state government, a Volvo spokeswoman told ANE.
Reuters contributed to this report