Coronavirus outbreak leads Ferrari and Lamborghini to shut down factories in Italy, and Ducati is extending a pre-planned production pause

A technician work at the Ferrari department factory in Maranello, Italy. AP Photo/Marco Vasini

  • Ferrari and Lamborghini have ceased operations at their factories in Italy.
  • Italy is grappling with the most severe COVID-19 coronavirus crisis outside China.
  • Italy has almost completely shut down normal life for its citizens to curtail the outbreak, but until recently, Ferrari and Lamborghini’s plants were fully functional.
  • Maserati also announced a shutdown of its factory, part of a larger action by parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
  • Ducati, located in the same area of Italy as Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Maserati also announced a shutdown of its motorcycle factory. It was an extension of a previously planned production pause.

Italy is struggling with the largest COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak outside China, but until recently, both Ferrari and Lamborghini had kept their factories operating.

Lamborghini idled its plant in Sant’Agata Bolognese last week, and Ferrari followed suit at facilities in Maranello and Modena over the weekend.

“My gratitude goes first and foremost to Ferrari’s women and men who, with their tremendous commitment over the past few days, have demonstrated the passion and dedication that defines our marque,” Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri said in a statement.

“Together with our suppliers, they have ensured the Company’s production. And it is out of our respect for them, for their peace of mind and those of their families that we have decided on this course of action. Our clients and fans are also top of mind for us at this time, as we prepare for a strong restart.”

Ferrari shares have declined 18% over the past month. The supercar maker was spun off from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in a 2015 IPO

Lamborghini is part of the VW Group, based in Germany.

Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali. Lamborghini

In a statement, Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali said, “This measure is an act of social responsibility and high sensibility towards our people, in the extraordinary situation in which we find ourselves right now in Italy and which is also evolving abroad due to the worldwide spread of Coronavirus.”

He added, “As we have done up until now, we continue to monitor the situation in order to react rapidly and with the right flexibility, in collaboration with our people and in order to restart with energy in the right moment.”

Italy has almost completely shutdown the country after the coronavirus struck the Lombardy region in the country’s powerhouse industrial north. The outbreak has pushed the Italian medical system to the breaking point.

Maserati also announced a shutdown, part of a larger decision by parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA).

“The Group will make use of these stoppages to implement revisions to production and quality control protocols to benefit our customers and enhance overall productivity,” FCA said in a statement.

“The Group is working with its supply base and business partners to be ready to enable our manufacturing operations to deliver previously planned total levels of production despite the suspension when market demand returns.”

Ducati extending a pre-planned production pause

A Ducati Scrambler at the company's museum in Italy. Matthew DeBord/BI

Ducati said in a statement that it would continue to idle its factory until March 25.

“Since the beginning of the health emergency in Italy, on February 24, Ducati has adopted an important series of measures to limit the probability of the virus spreading at its plant in Borgo Panigale, in a very timely manner and in advance of later arrangements,” the motorcycle maker said.

Ducati added, “The most important was the measurement of the temperature at each person entering the plant, access was limited to necessary personnel, a strong urge to work from home, meetings with reduction of participants and distance between them and cafeteria with special procedures and revision of shifts to reduce close contact between people.

Ducati had already planned a shutdown from last week, March 13, through March 18. That would have entailed a “multi-shift work program to halve the number of people on the assembly line at the same time,” Ducati said.

In a statement, CEO Claudio Domenicali said, “My thanks go to all those who, on a daily basis and even in a difficult situation like this, are confirming the great value of a united, cohesive but also sensitive and attentive workforce. For them, for their safety and for their security, measures and choices like the ones we are making are necessary and owed.”

He added, “We want to reassure Ducatisti and our dealers all over the world: we are organising ourselves to be ready for the restart and, even in this period of downtime we will not fail to provide support.”

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