CODOGNO, Italy -- One of the first suppliers in Europe hit by the coronavirus pandemic was MTA Advanced Automotive Solutions, a company southeast of Milan that makes electronics parts.
A one-week work stoppage at its main production site here that started Feb. 24 threatened production at three Fiat Chrysler Automobiles assembly plants in Italy and FCA's joint venture van factory with PSA Group, as MTA could not deliver essential electronics parts.
The town had become one of the first European epicenters of COVID-19, and the Italian authorities ordered factories in Codogno and nine nearby towns to suspend nonessential activities to help prevent the spread of the virus.
But MTA has recovered in recent months, and CEO Antonio Falchetti said the supplier could close 2020 with revenues down by less than 10 percent from last year’s 203 million euros.
"Demand peaks are way above our expectations," Falchetti told Automotive News Europe during an interview last month at the company's headquarters in Codogno.
"In the first weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, we feared 2020 revenues would be 30 percent [below] the 228 million euros we had forecast for this year, but we now hope the halve that shortfall," he said, with the result that revenues this year might be about 194 million euros.
In some cases, said the company, the pandemic had a favorable impact on specific markets: sales of motorcycles in India rose 10 percent in August over the same month of 2019, as customers perceived them as safer than three-wheelers used as taxis or family transport; demand for the latter fell 75 percent in the same period.