Coronavirus curbs may sever supply chains -Mexican truck-making lobby

Credit: REUTERS/ANDREW HAY

By Sharay Angulo

MEXICO CITY, April 2 (Reuters) - Closure of truck-making and auto parts plants in Mexico to contain the spread of the coronavirus could jeopardize supply chains between Mexico and the United States, the head of the Mexican truck manufacturing association ANPACT said on Thursday.

Mexico and the United States have agreed to keep their shared 2,000-mile (3,220-km) border open for business even as companies and public officials impose stricter and stricter curbs on activity to shut down transmission of the virus.

Increasing numbers of car makers have idled production, with Honda on Thursday extending suspension of work in North America.

Mexico is the biggest foreign provider of trucks to the United States and Canada, and the highly integrated automotive industry is the backbone of Mexican manufacturing and exports.

"There's a risk the auto parts and vehicle supply chains, which deal with emergencies, will come to a halt" in North America, ANPACT president Miguel Elizalde told Reuters.

Mexico, which this week stepped up containment measures, calling a halt to non-essential activities, has not clearly defined what sectors will be exempt from the curbs.

Failure to allow truck makers and other parts to stay online would be highly risky, Elizalde said.

"The United States needs auto parts we make and vice versa," he said. "Keeping up supply of basic necessities for the population depends on being able to keep making the parts and the trucks needed on both sides of the border."

(Reporting by Sharay Angulo Editing by Leslie Adler)

((dave.graham@thomsonreuters.com; +52 1 55 5282 7146; Reuters Messaging: dave.graham.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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