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CNH Industrial halts most European plants due to virus-related supply constraints

MILAN (Reuters) – Vehicle maker CNH Industrial <CNHI.MI> said on Friday it was suspending most of its European assembly operations for two weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak, citing supply chain constraints.

The Italian/American maker of Iveco commercial vehicles, farm machinery, construction equipment and powertrains, adds to a long list of European manufacturers closing plants or reducing production rates as the virus spreads.

The decision was driven by disruptions in the group’s European supply chain, “that do not allow for an efficient operation”, Chief Executive Hubertus Muhlhauser said in a statement.

“During these temporary shutdowns, we will also undertake further extensive sanitization and deep cleaning procedures,” he added.

Friday’s announcement follows a decision last week by CNH Industrial to halt operations at four Italian plants.

The group, however, said most its plants producing components would remain operational, though at lower speed, to ensure supply continuity to the group’s facilities outside of Europe. European parts logistic hubs and most dealer locations will remain open too.

CNH Industrial currently has 28 plants closed in Europe out of a total of 30, a spokesman said.

CNH Industrial said it was working with unions and works councils to implement the temporary shutdowns and the reopening of the plants. The group is constantly monitoring the situation in all markets in which it operates and will take further measures as required, it added.

(Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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