Bosch shifts to closed-loop mode at 4 China plants

Some carmakers are now instead opting to shutter their plants in China as COVID restrictions make it almost impossible to secure some components, deeming even closed-loop systems untenable, people familiar with the matter said earlier this week.

Volkswagen Group on Monday said a component shortage was the main reason behind a decision to halt production at a joint venture plant that it has with China FAW Group Co. in Chengdu and two of five production lines at its factory in Changchun.

Honda Motor Co. also suspended its operations in Wuhan, the original virus epicenter, although said Wednesday it was able to resume operations.

Bosch’s efforts involved mapping out production schedules, close workforce management and delving into supply chain and logistics planning, plus organizing food supply, accommodation and health support for staff, it said. Employees were only asked to enter the bubble on a voluntary basis.

Bosch also said the plants in question are smaller, with factory line workforces that range from 50 to 300 people.

“We can currently fulfill customer orders,” the Bosch spokeswoman said, adding that the “effects” of the closed-loop systems had been manageable.

That hasn’t been the case for other companies.

Conditions under a closed loop at the Chinese factory complex of Apple Inc.’s main global production partner recently seeded unrest that saw a mass exodus of employees and a violent clash with security guards.

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