COVID-19: India pauses phone manufacturing for major brands
With the spread of COVID-19 continuing to impact business around the world, we take a look at the mobile phone industry, the latest to be hit by the pandemic.
With the current total of cases within India reaching 513, with 11 deaths, multiple states within India have issued lockdowns - like many others around the world - to curb the speed of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The effect of these lockdowns again like many others have resulted in the closure of production activities. In particular, within India, this includes a large amount of smartphone manufacturers present in the region - the second-largest smartphone market.
Those who have closed their factories so far include Samsung, Vivo, Oppo and LG for various different lengths of time.
Samsung - The popular brand has currently put on hold production in its Noida factory - the world’s biggest mobile manufacturing facility - until tomorrow, 25 March.
Oppo and Vivo - Joining Samsung, it was reported that the Chinese phone manufacturers were also closing their facilities unit 25 March.
LG - More recently, LG announced that it is pausing its production temporarily for its two facilities in India until the end of the month.
Xiaomi - Xiaomi, India’s top phone maker, has announced that it will be following the lockdown order of the authorities. “Each facility such as corporate office, warehouse, service centre, Mi Home, and manufacturing plant will abide by the lockdown orders. In the meantime, we will vigilantly monitor the situation round the clock,” commented Xiaomi in a company statement.
Motorola - Owned by Lenovo, Motorola will also be shutting down its operations, however, there is no current time frame stated.
Already experiencing a slump in the market, with shipments decreasing by 38% in February, which is expected to continue as a result of the recent shutdowns of factories. However, while this might have a negative impact on revenues and exports, it is positively ensuring the safety and health of the country.
While the smartphone manufacturing industry is being affected by the pandemic, many within the manufacturing of automobiles are continuing their production in other regions, including Mercedes-Benz and Tesla.
While there is a lot of uncertainty and negative impacts surrounding the pandemic, with these uncertain times the world is banding together to help in the fight against the virus.
Around the world Car manufacturers are providing their manufacturing services to provide the much needed medical supplies that the world needs.
Those car manufacturers include BYD, who commented in a company statement that the much needed supplies of medical supplies will “help alleviate severe shortages that have affected hospitals and agencies across China in the face of the global COVID-19 outbreak.”
Other shortages include ventilators. Currently, the UK has over 2,700 cases of COVID-19, with only 5,000 ventilators. Auto manufacturer Nissan is assisting a UK consortium, to help with the development of basic ventilator prototypes.
Total recoveries to date: 103,415 of 292,952
For more information on manufacturing topics - please take a look at the latest edition of Manufacturing Global.
IMF: Variants Can Still Hurt Manufacturing Recovery
After a year of on-and-off manufacturing in the US, UK, and the eurozone, demand for goods surged early last week. Factories set growth records in April and May, suppliers started to recover, and US crude hit its highest price point since pre-COVID. As vaccination efforts immunise much of the US and UK populations, manufacturers are now able to fully ramp up their supply chains. In fact, GDP growth could approach double-digits by 2022.
Now, the ISM productivity measure has surpassed the 50-point mark that separates industry expansion from contraction. Since U.S. president Biden passed his US$1.9tn stimulus package and the UK purchasing managers index (PMI) increased to 65.6, both sides of the Atlantic are facing a much-welcomed manufacturing recovery.
Lingering Concerns Over COVID
Even as Spain, France, Italy, and Germany race to catch up, and mining companies pushed the FTSE 100 index of list shares to a monthly high of 7,129, some say that UK and US markets still suffer from a lack of confidence in raw material supplies. Yes, the Dow Jones has made up its 19,173-point crash of March 2020, and MSCI’s global stock index is at an all-time high.
Yet manufacturers around the world realise that these wins will be short-lived until pandemic supply chain bottlenecks are solved. If we keep the status quo, consumers will pay the price. In April, inflation in Germany reached 2.4%, and across the EU’s 19 member countries, overall prices have increased at an unusual pace. Some ask: Is this true recovery?
IMF: Current Boom Could Falter
Even as Elon Musk tweeted about chip shortages forcing Tesla to raise its prices, UK mining demand skyrocketed; housing markets lifted; and the pound sterling gained value. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), however, cautioned that manufacturing recovery won’t last long if COVID mutates into forms our vaccinations can’t touch. Kristalina Georgieva, Washington’s IMF director, noted that fewer than 1% of African citizens have been vaccinated: “Worldwide access to vaccines offers the best hope for stopping the coronavirus pandemic, saving lives, and securing a broad-based economic recovery”.
Across the globe, manufacturing companies are keeping a watchful eye on new developments in the spread of COVID. Though US FDA officials don’t think we’ll have to “start at square one” with new vaccines, the March 2021 World Economic Outlook states that “high uncertainty” surrounds the projected 6% global growth. Continued manufacturing success will in large part depend on “the path of the pandemic, the effectiveness of policy support, and the evolution of financial conditions”.
Mathias Cormann, secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) concurred—without global immunisation, the estimated economic boom expected by 2025 could go kaput. “We need to...pursue an all-out effort to reach the entire world population”, Australia’s finance minister added. US$50bn to end COVID across the world, they imply, is a small investment to restart our economies.