Wednesday 29 January 2020 11:32 am

Coronavirus could hit Bosch automotive supply chain in China, warns chief executive

The biggest automotive supplier in the world has warned the coronavirus outbreak could hit its global supply chain.

The chief executive of Bosh, Volkmar Denner, said that although there has been no disruption yet, “we are naturally concerned”.

Bosch relies heavily on China as a global manufacturing base for exporting electric motors, transmissions and power electronics for electric cars.

Speaking in Stuttgart, he said: “We need to wait to see how things develop. If this situation continues, supply chains will be disrupted. 

“There are forecasts that predict the peak for infections will drag on until February or March.”

“In Wuhan Bosch has two plants making steering systems and thermotechnologies, with around 800 employees. There have been no reports of infections,” Denner said.

Bosch’s China plants have been shut for Chinese new year and the holiday has been extended to 3 February.

Denner said the extension would not disrupt Bosch’s global business.

It comes as the German company reported a 44 per cent drop in core earnings to €3bn. 

Meanwhile, revenue was stable last year at €77.9bn.

Bosch benefited from increased complexity in vehicles, which allowed it to sell more components and systems per vehicle produced.

The firm employs 403,000 people across the globe. China is home to its biggest workforce outside Germany.

The company has 23 automotive manufacturing facilities in the county, which is the world’s largest car market.

Bosch’s sales in the Asia Pacific region reached were €22.5bn (£19bn) last year, of which more than €10bn came from China.

Bosch expects global automotive production to fall 2.6 per cent to 89m cars this year because of falling demand in China, the United States and Europe.