General Motors CEO Mary Barra told investors today that the company’s “thoughts and focus has been our people,” but added that they’re working with their Chinese partner and health authorities to make sure their supply chain is not disrupted.
“It’s a very fluid situation,” Barra said at an investor conference following GM’s earnings report. “As we learn more, we’ll provide more updates.”
GM has a large manufacturing plant in Wuhan — ground zero of the coronavirus outbreak. The plant employs nearly 6,000 people, about 10% of GM’s total work force in China.
The most interesting coronavirus wrinkle from GM is that the president of GM China, Matt Tsien, flew in last week to participate in today’s investor conference. But due to “an abundance of caution,” he’s participating by calling in rather than speaking in person.
Ford also had little hard info about the coronavirus on its own earnings call on Tuesday.
CEO Jim Hackett said the Ford team is “proactively monitoring the situation on several fronts, including the safety of our employees and their families. This is paramount.”
Hackett added that Ford is also monitoring their supply chain, but that its “too early” to tell the effect the coronavirus will have on its business.
Last week: Ford banned travel to, from and inside China, telling employees who had traveled there to quarantine themselves for 14 days after returning.