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Movers and Shakers: Automotive Plant Closures in North America Due to Coronavirus Likely to Last Beyond March

Compiled by SEMA Editors

GlobalData: Automotive Plant Closures in North America Due to Coronavirus Likely to Last Beyond March

Following the news that Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler (FCA) are shutting their North American manufacturing plants through March 30 in response to the deepening coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, David Leggett, automotive editor at GlobalData, offered his view:

“The news from the U.S. is certainly not unexpected and follows temporary plant closures already announced for Europe. As is the case in Europe, the reasons behind the cessation of manufacturing operations are a sudden large drop to demand, supply-chain disruption and a duty of care to the workforce in the face of an unprecedented public health crisis.

"In a coordinated move that also involved the United Auto Workers (UAW), ‘Detroit 3’ U.S. auto producers have set the closure period to March 30 with the situation then reviewed on a regular basis after that.

“Given the forecast trajectory and spread of the coronavirus, it is highly unlikely that production will be able to resume soon after March 30 and that shutdowns will be extended into April at least.

“Of particular importance to a production restart is a stabilization to market conditions and there is no sign of that yet.

“Demand for new cars is drying up in major markets as consumers face considerable uncertainty over the economic outlook and grapple with new priorities in their daily lives. The March sales numbers are going to make for grim reading in Europe and the U.S.

“While there is some inertia support for sales, such as orders to fleets that were already baked in, private car sales will have fallen off a cliff. Dealerships are not exactly busy with footfall or leads.

“Much depends on how economies react to the crisis over the next few weeks and whether government actions and support in response to the crisis can restore already damaged consumer and business confidence.”

Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association Celebrates 40 Years Serving the Automotive Aftermarket

The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) is celebrating its 40th year serving and protecting the automotive aftermarket industry. In 1980, the AAAA was founded by a group of businesses that became concerned with regulatory developments in Australia and their impact on the automotive aftermarket. Putting aside competitive pressures, they came together as the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association to better serve and protect the industry. AAAA will celebrate its 40th anniversary with members and industry stakeholders over the course of the year.

Hot Shots Secret
Hot Shot’s Secret has announced the title sponsorship of Firepunk Diesel’s Save the Racks Chevy S-10 and unveils an all new Hot Shot’s Secret-branded design.

Hot Shot’s Secret Announces Sponsorship of Firepunk Diesel’s Save The Racks S-10

Hot Shot’s Secret has announced the title sponsorship of Firepunk Diesel’s Save the Racks Chevy S-10 and unveils an all new Hot Shot’s Secret-branded design. The world record holder built by Firepunk Diesel was used the last two years to support “Save the Racks” to promote breast cancer awareness and touted a metallic pink, black and white checkerboard design. In 2019, the Firepunk Diesel S-10 driven by Larson Miller clinched both the world’s fastest diesel door slammer title at 4.25 at 177 mph, as well as the 2019 Outlaw Diesel Super Series (ODSS) Pro Mod points championship. Hot Shot’s Secret has now stepped up to sponsor this world record holder for 2020. Firepunk Diesel purchased the truck and has installed an all-new billet aluminum Cummins engine built by D&J Precision Machine and known as the “Executioner” that produced more than 3,200 hp and 3300 lb.-ft. of torque on the dyno, giving the truck 500 more hp and saving 200 lbs. of weight for 2020.

VP Racing Fuels Continues to Power Global Motorsports

VP Racing Fuels Inc. continues to supply race fuels, coolants and lubricants to race series and teams, despite the economic challenges caused by COVID-19. According to the company, VP has maintained sufficient inventory and transportation to supply all professional and amateur race customers around the world. Over the past several weeks, VP has signed new agreements with World Racing League and American Flat Track and continues to fuel series and events that are recognized around the world. 

Radu Pop
Radu Pop

Stertil-Koni’s Radu Pop Named Chair of New TMC Task Force

Stertil-Koni has announced that the company’s Business Development Manager Radu Pop has been named chairman of a new Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC) task force, the Technology & Engineering Policy Committee. TMC supports the American Trucking Association with research, analysis and policy development. The goal of the policy committee is to develop best practices to safely use vehicle lifting systems and related equipment. The committee, comprised of trucking industry and education professionals, will develop guidelines to assist shop managers in selecting the appropriate lifting systems for specific medium and heavy duty vehicle maintenance operations.

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