Reports have emerged that auto parts maker Aptiv, which supplies carmakers like Tesla and General Motors’ joint venture in China, has suspended its operations at its Shanghai production facility. The shutdown was reportedly due to issues related to the current outbreak of the Covid-19 virus in China.
Aptiv operates a number of production facilities in Shanghai’s Jiading district, which is located in the western portion of the city. The area has not been affected by the city’s two-stage Covid lockdown effort yet, which began on Monday, but four individuals who were reportedly familiar with Aptiv’s operations in Shanghai noted that workers at one of the company’s sites were told to head home on Tuesday.
The Aptiv employees who were sent home on Tuesday worked at a facility that produces wire harnesses. The facility in question supplies Tesla and General Motors’ joint venture in China, according to the individuals, who declined to be named since the information is not public. The individuals further told Reuters that the affected workers in the Aptiv site were told to stay home on Wednesday and wait for further updates.
Aptiv, for its part, has not issued a formal statement about its Shanghai facility’s operations as of writing. A spokesperson from the company, however, highlighted that Aptiv is following government orders. Tesla and General Motors’ joint venture in China have not released statements about the topic as well.
Wire harnesses may seem like a minor component for vehicles, but they are extremely vital. Typical cars consume thousands of meters worth of wiring when they are produced. Harnesses tend to be unique to every car as well, which makes suppliers like Aptiv extremely important.
The automotive sector is currently dealing with challenges related to the shortage of wire harnesses. Volkswagen and BMW, for example, have been putting a lot of effort into securing alternative sources for their vehicles’ wire harnesses due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, which is a notable producer of harnesses.
Aptiv’s suspension of its Shanghai plant would likely not just affect Tesla and GM’s joint venture in China. Carmakers like Ford, Toyota, and Volkswagen’s joint venture with Chinese automaker SAIC, are also supplied by Aptiv.
Interestingly enough, GM has been able to keep its facilities in Shanghai operational by having its employees sleep at the factory. Tesla’s Gigafactory Shanghai, on the other hand, is reported to have suspended its operations for four days this week.
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