BYD Making At Least 2,000 Cars a Day Less as Covid Hits Workers

Chinese carmaking giant BYD Co. is the latest large-scale manufacturer to be hit by the nation’s wave of Covid infections, with a top executive saying production is being curtailed to the tune of at least 2,000 cars a day. (Bloomberg) — Chinese carmaking giant BYD Co. is the latest large-scale manufacturer to be hit by…
BYD Making At Least 2,000 Cars a Day Less as Covid Hits Workers

Chinese carmaking giant BYD Co. is the latest large-scale manufacturer to be hit by the nation’s wave of Covid infections, with a top executive saying production is being curtailed to the tune of at least 2,000 cars a day.

(Bloomberg) — Chinese carmaking giant BYD Co. is the latest large-scale manufacturer to be hit by the nation’s wave of Covid infections, with a top executive saying production is being curtailed to the tune of at least 2,000 cars a day.

“These few days Covid has infected a bunch of our workers, severely impacting our production,” BYD Executive Vice President Lian Yu-bo said at the APEC SME Business Forum 2022 in Shenzhen on Thursday. “Every day we’re producing 2,000 to 3,000 fewer cars.”

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Lian also said in his remarks, which were recorded and then distributed online, that around 20% to 30% of BYD’s workers were unable to work and are quarantining at home.

The automaker, which is China’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles, had an original target for 2022 of 1.9 million pure electric and hybrid cars, but will now only reach around 1.88 million due to as many as 30,000 fewer cars being made this month, Lian added.

Representatives for BYD said they weren’t immediately able to comment on Lian’s remarks when asked about the video.

China’s recent abrupt end to Covid Zero controls has seen infections soar, causing a slump in travel and economic activity. The nation is likely experiencing 1 million infections and 5,000 virus deaths every day as it grapples with what is expected to be the biggest outbreak the world has ever seen, new analysis shows.

The sheer number of people who are now sick has severely curtailed manufacturers’ ability to produce goods and factories are going to great lengths to keep machines running, from locking in workers to hoarding medicine. 

Some are splitting shifts, requesting Covid-infected staff work on alternate days, while others are asking employees to work longer hours. Still others are asking people to come in even if they’re sick or to come back after a few days of rest.

Read more: VW Tells Staff in China to Work More Hours as Covid Spreads

BYD’s reduced output implies the carmaker is on track to make and sell about a quarter of a million vehicles in December. It produced 1.63 million new-energy vehicles this year through November.

Until now, BYD, which also makes batteries and semiconductors, appeared to have sidestepped the worst of any Covid disruptions. While smaller rivals like Nio Inc. and Xpeng Inc. suffered and even Tesla Inc. grappled with component shortages and Shanghai’s extended lockdown, BYD continued to expand output, with monthly sales hitting new records.

Read more: BYD Has Tesla In Its Sights After a Year of Runaway Growth

Shares in BYD were 3.8% lower in Hong Kong on Friday, bringing declines for the year to around 27%. The stock has also come under pressure as Berkshire Hathaway Inc. trims its stake.

—With assistance from Selina Xu and Chunying Zhang.

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