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Ferrari to close Italy plants for 2 weeks in coronavirus response

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MILAN — Ferrari said on Saturday it closed its two plants until March 27 in a response to the coronavirus outbreak in Italy and an emerging shortage of parts.

Ferrari adds to a string of Italian manufacturers that have closed plants or slowed production rates in response to the virus emergency, threatening to disrupt Europe’s struggling automotive industry.

Ferrari said in a statement it had so far ensured production continuity, as it already implemented all the health measures required by the Italian government at the two sites, located in Maranello, its global headquarters, and in Modena, in the northern Emilia Romagna region.

However, it added the company was “now experiencing the first serious supply chain issues, which no longer allow for continued production.”

Brakes specialist Brembo, which supplies Ferrari as well as other premium and supercar makers, said on Friday it would temporarily close its four Italian plants next week.

All non-manufacturing activity will continue regularly, through smart working, Ferrari said.

A source close to the matter said the company will adopt further measures during the closure period, including sanitization of the sites’ most frequented areas, and added that no contagion cases were recorded among Ferrari’s workers to date.

Italy agreed a series of measures on Saturday to improve health controls in factories, offices and other workplaces that have been allowed to stay open during the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

Ferrari’s workers will continue to receive their full salary and will not be requested to use their vacation allowance during the closure period, the source said.

CEO Louis Camilleri said Ferrari made the decision to close its plants out of respect for its workers, “for their peace of mind and those of their families.”

Earlier this week Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and industrial vehicle maker CNH Industrial said they were temporarily halting operations and slowing production rates at some of their Italian plants to comply with government’s anti-coronavirus requirements.

Tire maker Pirelli said it was cutting production at its Settimo Torinese plant, near Turin, after a worker tested positive for the coronavirus.

Italy has become Europe’s epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, with more than 15,000 confirmed cases and more than 1,200 deaths.

Last month Ferrari boosted its 2020 forecasts for sales and earnings after it posted record deliveries, a sign that Camilleri’s model-range renewal is bearing fruit. The company produced more than 10,000 cars for the first time last year.

Bloomberg contributed to this report

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