The deadly coronavirus that has taken lives of over 170 people and affected 7,700 others across countries so far, has cast its shadow over two of India’s biggest auto shows to be held in less than a week.
At least 320 companies from China that are involved in manufacturing of automotive parts have confirmed their participation in the 15 th Auto Components Expo, which would be in the heart of Pragati Maidan in New Delhi for four days starting February 6.
Chinese companies make up more than 20 percent of the total number of confirmed participants for the Components Expo. It was not immediately known if any of these companies are based in Wuhan, the Chinese city that was declared as the epicenter of the coronavirus.
Nearly a dozen companies from China, including six car, SUV and bus makers, are participating in the Auto Expo that will be held in Greater Noida starting February 5. China-headquartered companies like Great Wall Motors, FAW Haima, SIAC-controlled MG Motor, Olectra-BYD have confirmed their participation in the Auto Expo.
While the number of participants for the Components Expo, comprising mostly business visitors, is expected to cross 100,000, as for the Auto Expo, this figure is expected to swell to more than 600,000.
In addition there are a number of companies from other countries including Japan, Italy, Thailand, USA, Turkey, UK, Germany, Korea and Canada that are also participating in the Component Expo.
Some of these countries like the USA has already issued strong travel advisories against travel to China to its citizens. India has also confirmed at least two cases of people infected with the coronavirus.
The Component Expo is organized by Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA), the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Deepak Jain, President, ACMA, said, “The Coronavirus is a global concern. We at ACMA with SIAM and CII are regularly not only in touch with the Chinese companies, but we are also in touch with the ministries on how to handle healthcare. They have also issued advisories and we will be following them. There is a containment and prevention plan at the Expo in terms of the medical facilities that will be provided and also certain hygiene aspects like washing of hands and sanitizing and wearing masks. So all those things has been taken care of”.
“We are already in touch with Chinese companies that are participating and till now we have not seen any adverse impact like any pullouts (from the event). So from that perspective, we are good to go as of now, but we are closely monitoring the situation and also talking to the members to reduce anxiety levels”, added Jain.