February 26, 2020 / 8:04 PM / a month ago

Fujitsu preparing to stop production in Spain after coronavirus causes shortages

MADRID, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Fujitsu Ltd is preparing to halt some production lines at its car equipment components factory in Malaga, southern Spain, if needed, because of a shortage of parts from China due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Japanese information technology company’s only European factory has scheduled production to stop on its first production line - its assembly line for car audio components - from March 16, factory managing director Blanca Hermana told Reuters on Wednesday.

“We’re working so we don’t have to stop, and that’s what we’re hoping for. But we have taken the preventive measures to deal with this situation as the components are arriving with great difficulty,” Hermana said.

The stoppage of the audio line will affect 38 employees, but the suspension of other lines, making mostly auto electronics, could affect 336 operators out of 449 workers in the Malaga factory, according to Diario Sur, the main Malaga daily.

Hermana said the factory had so far been managing by using contingency supplies and shipments that were already on the way to Spain when the outbreak started in China, sending factories and workers into lockdown.

Although suppliers may have resumed work in China, deliveries take between three and five weeks.

Without giving details, she said other auto part suppliers were in a worse situation than Fujitsu, and it was those who would likely be responsible for stopping the first car production lines in Spain, which is home to factories for most car brands.

“Most of the parts needed to make cars in Spain are produced in China,” she said. (Reporting by Belen Carreno; Writing by Jessica Jones; Editing by Alison Williams)

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