The coronavirus has, so far, defined 2020. The novel virus that first emerged in China has spread to numerous countries around the world, and it continues to impact global business, including automakers.
Although Germany has already reported cases of the coronavirus, it's specifically landed at BMW. The automaker has placed 150 employees under at-home quarantine after an employee tested positive for the virus, Automotive News Europe reports.
The unnamed employee, who did not travel abroad, works in the company's research and development center and may have come in contact with the employees who have been quarantined. BMW didn't immediately return Roadshow's request for comment, but the automaker told Automotive News Europe the affected area has been closed for disinfection. Operations will continue as normal, according to the report, and most importantly, the employee is doing well.
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Across Germany, 157 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed, but there have been no related deaths.
So far, automakers haven't come forward to underscore any major stresses on supply chains. A social media post last month by a United Auto Workers local reportedly warned of parts shortages at General Motors here in the US; GM refuted the claim and said production is unaffected as of last month.
In China, the epicenter of the outbreak, auto sales have come to a screeching halt as the state government quarantines entire cities to slow the virus' spread. Elsewhere in the auto industry, the coronavirus caused the cancellation of the 2020 Geneva Motor Show, which was set to kick off on March 3.
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