Fiat Chrysler halts production in Serbia over China disruption

FILE PHOTO: The logo of car manufacturer Fiat is seen in Zurich, Switzerland October 30, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) – Fiat Chrysler (FCA) (FCHA.MI) said on Friday it had temporarily halted production at its Serbian plant due to disruptions related to components sourced from China, where businesses have been hampered by the outbreak of a new coronavirus.

Planned downtime at the Kragujevac plant in Serbia, where FCA builds its Fiat 500L car, has been rescheduled, a spokesman for the Italian American automaker said.

Friday’s temporary halt is the first such suspension by an automaker in Europe in response to the virus outbreak.

Chief Executive Mike Manley said last week that disruptions to auto parts production in China could threaten output at one of FCA’s European plants within two to four weeks.

Production will restart later this month, an FCA spokesman said, adding that the group did not expect the announced changes would affect total production forecasts for this month.

“We’re in the process of securing future supply of those affected parts,” the spokesman said.

Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; Editing by James Mackenzie and Edmund Blair

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