COVID-19 Industry Communications Center – UPDATED

With the unprecedented impact of the Coronavirus on the industry, Diesel Progress will maintain a running news feed of the latest information involving COVID-19. If you have news to share, please contact mike.brezonick@khl.com, mike.osenga@khl.com, chad.elmore@khl.com or ian.cameron@khl.com.

─ March 31 ─

Briggs & Stratton Makes Additional Reductions

Briggs & Stratton Corp., which last week cut the pay of its top executives, will also reduce the compensation of its salaried employees by 25% to 30% and is halting its 401(k) match, according to a report in the Milwaukee BizTimes. The moves are part of the company’s strategy in dealing with the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

BizTimes reported it obtained a copy of a company memo from Chairman, President and CEO Todd Teske in which he outlined a variety of options the company considered before deciding on the salary reductions, which included furloughs and staff reductions.

“We decided that keeping the team together through this difficult time is paramount, as we need to be agile and ready to ramp back up at a moment’s notice,” Teske’s memo said. “We want our team members to be able to earn a salary far in excess of what governmental assistance provides. And we want to continue to be a viable organization where employees can continue to work and earn their livelihood for the long-term.”

BizTimes reported that Teske said the company would monitor the situation and hopes to adjust the reductions in June.

─ March 31 ─

A Perspective On Construction Equipment Manufacturing In China

In an exclusive interview, KHL Group asked Beijing-based SHI Yang, director of Research at Off-Highway Research China, to describe how China’s construction equipment market is recovering from the COVID-19 outbreak.

Yang noted that many major manufacturers reopened their factories in the third week of February. “However, because of the problems in the production of components, the still partially blocked transportation system and the absence of many employees, their production was at low levels in the first two weeks,” Yang said. “But as a general trend, the manufacturers had restored production to normal levels by the beginning of March, with strict virus containment measures are still adopted every day, such as wearing masks. A number of excavator factories are working around the clock now to fill the orders and prepare for the expected peak in April.”

To read more of his comments, click here.

March 31  

Poclain: China Has Switched On

 In a LinkedIn post today, Poclain Hydraulics lauded its Chinese operation, which has been back at work for several weeks. The company has a manufacturing facility in Shanghai, a sales office in Beijing, and distributors in several parts of the country.

“Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Poclain employees in China have collectively shown incredible perseverance, dedication and solidarity in the face of risks,” the company wrote. “In the middle of February, China restarted operations under difficult conditions with the approval of local authorities.

“China is moving into full-on recovery now. With customers as our foremost concern, our team is currently running two shifts, six days a week and reached a record for monthly output last week.

“Meanwhile, the team has taken this opportunity to show inspirational commitment and solidarity – helping each other, putting in place and executing anti-virus measures, and helping our sister plants overseas, who are working hard to support us as well within their respective capacities. Unis nous vaincrons.

“The Chinese translation of crisis, called Wei Ji. Wei is risk, danger, and Ji is opportunity and hope. Opportunity appears in the moment of risks. China has switched ON and let’s shift up.” 

March 30

Two Perspectives From A Locked-Down Italy

Walvoil President Victor Gottardi posted a message on the company’s website in which he reviewed the status of his company, but was nonetheless “thinking about the future.”

“In this moment of global health emergency, Walvoil has temporarily suspended production at its sites in Italy and India, following the Directives of the Italian and Indian governments. Other manufacturers have done likewise to,” Gottardi wrote. “However, Walvoil plants continue to function in USA, Canada, Korea and China; the last-named being a country in which we have been able to catch up with regular operations rapidly. Also the Walvoil distribution network, which has always been very dynamic and cohesive, continues to function where possible.

“In any case, all our Customers can count on our global commercial and technical support even in this difficult period, since all commercial touch points/contacts are active and working intensely, some of them from their homes.”

Gottardi said that at all of the company’s sites, “Walvoil has proactively put in place all the necessary safety measures to protect people and work.”

“We take our obligation to protect our workforce very deeply and so, when we reopen our plants (hopefully very soon), while on the one hand we will be very alive to the above obligation, at the same time, we will also be working strongly and diligently to restart production and deliveries at the fastest possible, in the interest of all our stakeholders.”

The company has also formed a group called the Sustainability Board, which is focusing on containing the Covid-19 virus and preventing its further spread in Walvoil plants, provide guidance top all Walvoil Group companies and prepare for growth in the coming years.

To see the letter in its entirety, click here.

Another view of conditions in Italy was provided by Roberta Prandi, associate publisher of Diesel Progress International and New Power Progress, who is based in Northern Italy.

“The situation, especially in the northern regions is still very difficult, but the past three days have shown some positive signs as the curve of new positive cases has started to flatten out,” Prandi wrote. “Only yesterday the Italian government reached an agreement with the major workers’ unions to review the list of non-essential activities that need to shut down. The original list of essential activities included the production of electric motors and gen-sets, agricultural tractors and everything related to civil engineering.”

To read the report in its entirety on the Construction Europe website, click here.

─ March 30

CNH Industrial Updates COVID-19 Strategy, Includes American Shutdowns

CNH Industrial has issued a new statement concerning its measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that include a temporary shutdown of its plants in North and South America.

The statement is as follows:

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, CNH Industrial has been proactively taking all appropriate measures to ensure the health and safety of its employees, the continuity of its industrial and distribution infrastructure, and its supply chain. All these efforts are geared to ensure that the needs of our customers are met, even in these unprecedented circumstances.

In light of the significant deterioration of the macro-economic environment triggered by the global spread of the COVID-19 virus and the resulting market uncertainty, the impact that such events may have on the Company’s 2020 financial results cannot be reasonably estimated at this time due to the rapid development and fluidity of the situation.

As a result, CNH Industrial withdraws its financial outlook for 2020 presented on February 7, 2020. Further updates will be provided in the Company’s first-quarter earnings announcement and conference call on May 6, 2020.

In previous challenging circumstances, the Company has demonstrated that it is able to react promptly while maintaining a firm grip on its financial position. Accordingly, the Company is currently evaluating all possible actions to reduce costs and protect its financial position and liquidity.

Management has worked diligently in the last few years in order to attain investment grade status from the three main rating agencies. Our available liquidity position at December end 2019 was $11.2 billion, the highest level in Company history, providing a solid cash base and headroom within its credit facilities to navigate such an uncertain and challenging environment.

Despite these exceptional circumstances, the Company is continuing to implement measures to guarantee the health and safety of its employees, in line with all national directives, and the continuity of its business operations.

It is in this context, that today CNH Industrial announces that it is suspending the majority of its manufacturing operations in North and South America for a two-week period, starting March 30.

In North America, the impacted sites manufacture construction and agricultural equipment but most component facilities will remain operational at low speed, in order to ensure the continuation of supply to the Company’s other manufacturing facilities in North America – specifically those that are deemed essential by the U.S. Government. North American parts depots and most dealer locations will also remain open to maintain uninterrupted service to customers. CNH Industrial is working closely with union leaders to implement the temporary shutdowns and the re-opening of the plants.

In South America, the impacted sites manufacture construction and agricultural equipment, commercial vehicles and powertrains. South American parts depots and the majority of dealerships will continue to provide uninterrupted service to their customers. CNH Industrial is working closely with governments and union leaders to implement these actions.

March 30

Cummins Announces Annual Meeting, With Virtual Option

Cummins announced it will hold its annual meeting of shareholders at its corporate headquarters in Columbus, Ind., on Tuesday, May 12.

However, in making the announcement in its Schedule 14A filing, the company added that it was fully prepared in case Coronavirus-related travel restrictions would still be in effect in May.

“We are actively monitoring the public health and travel concerns relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the protocols and restrictions imposed by the federal, state, and local governments,” the company said. “We are focused on the health and well-being of our employees, shareholders and other stakeholders.

“If public health developments warrant, we will be prepared to impose additional procedures or limitations on meeting attendees, such as holding the shareholder meeting by means of remote communications (a “virtual” meeting) or other changes necessary to protect the health and safety of attendees. Any such change will be announced via press release and the filing of additional soliciting materials with the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

March 30

AEM Reschedules Safety & Compliance, Liability Seminars

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) has postponed the 2020 AEM Product Safety & Compliance Seminar and Liability Seminar and rescheduled them for Aug. 24-27 in Itasca, Illinois.

These back-to-back seminars are intended to offer industry professionals uniquely valuable perspectives on the latest in standards, regulations and best practices. In addition, one track of 10 sessions focuses on technical manual development, standards, challenges and latest best practices, plus two, four-and-a-half-hour bonus workshops.

Off-road equipment product safety and compliance professionals, whether they are new to the discipline or experienced veterans, will receive valuable information on topics such as risk assessment, hazard communication, developing standards and regulations, technical publication practices and more, AEM said.

March 30

Pettibone’s Critical Infrastructure Workers Continue Operations

Baraga, Mich-based Pettibone/Traverse Lift, LLC has announced that after careful deliberation, it will continue in-person operations for essential employees. On March 23, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-21 requiring that all non-essential businesses cease in-person activities. The order includes an exception for operations employing “critical infrastructure workers.” Under the Order, Pettibone is an excepted business.

Pettibone is a manufacturer of products for the rail and construction industries, and the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has designated such manufacturers as critical to the essential functions of the United States. Companies like Pettibone are part of a larger chain that is critical to many facets of our society and economy.

To that end, all production, aftermarket, and shipping employees have been designated critical infrastructure employees and will continue in-person operations, Pettibone said. All other employees will work remotely. With employee health and safety as its highest priority, Pettibone has taken a number of measures to encourage and enable safe work within the workplace and is following all CDC guidelines.

March 30

Caterpillar Foundation Commits $8.5 Million To COVID-19 Response

As the events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic continue to evolve rapidly, the Caterpillar Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Caterpillar Inc., announced it is committing $8.5 million to support global communities, including underserved populations, affected by the virus.

Cat said the foundation’s investment will support nonprofit organizations that are working to help prevent, detect and respond to the pandemic; providing resources to hospitals, medical staff and patients; addressing food insecurity; and enabling online STEM and coding education for youth impacted by school closures.

“These investments are an important expression of our company’s values,” said Jim Umpleby, Caterpillar chairman and chief executive officer. “As we all work together to fight the pandemic, the Foundation’s resources will provide essential support in communities around the world.”

The Caterpillar Foundation is also expanding its existing U.S. Matching Gifts Program to provide a 2:1 match on employee and retiree donations made to eligible nonprofits beginning March 16 through May 1, per the program conditions that can be found at caterpillar.com/matching-gifts.

“The Caterpillar Foundation is focused on building more sustainable and resilient communities, helping them emerge stronger together during this unprecedented time,” said Asha Varghese, Caterpillar Foundation president. “Our employees and retirees give so generously, and we are proud to amplify their gifts and support our many nonprofit partners working tirelessly to keep our communities safe and prosperous.”

The Foundation’s $8.5 million investment is being distributed among a number of organizations and COVID-19 funds around the world, including:

– The United Nations Foundation / World Health Organization Solidarity Response Fund.

– The King Baudouin Foundation Fund for Italy.

– The Global Foodbanking Network Global Fund.

– The Feeding America Response Fund.

– The Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

– The Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund.

Earlier this year, the Foundation made a $250,000 donation to the China Women’s Development Foundation to provide healthcare facilities with critical medical protective materials in China’s Hubei province, where the outbreak initially occurred. In addition to these organizations, the Foundation is collaborating with our global facilities to support local nonprofits contributing to the COVID-19 response efforts.

The Caterpillar Foundation is also a member of the American Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP). Through ADGP support, the American Red Cross is able to help people prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters around the world in partnership with international Red Cross societies, including assisting the International Federation of Red Cross as it coordinates a global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

─ March 30 ─

JCB Set To Produce Ventilator Housings

JCB ventilatorsJCB is poised to restart production at a factory closed as a result of the Coronavirus crisis in order to join the U.K.’s effort to manufacture ventilator housings, the company announced today.

JCB received a direct appeal from U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier this month to help plug the national ventilator shortage and to help save lives of Coronavirus patients. Following the approach, JCB Chairman Lord Bamford promised to help in any way the company could and immediately mobilized a research and engineering team to examine potential ways to assist.

Now JCB is ready to restart production at a factory which has been closed for nearly two weeks as a result of the Coronavirus crisis. But instead of making cabs for JCB diggers, the plant is being reorganized to make special steel housings for a brand-new design of ventilator from Dyson. A minimum of 10,000 of the JCB housings are earmarked for manufacture once Dyson receives regulatory approval for its design.

The first prototypes of the housings have been delivered to Dyson after rolling off the production line at JCB’s £50 million Cab Systems factory in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, England. The factory fell silent on March 18th along with eight other JCB U.K. manufacturing plants after a fall in demand caused by the Coronavirus crisis. Mass production of the housings could start in a matter of days.

“When we were approached by the prime minister we were determined, as a British company, to help in any way we could,” said Lord Bamford said. “This project has gone from design to production in just a matter of days and I am delighted that we have been to deploy the skills of our talented engineering, design and fabrication teams so quickly at a time of national crisis. This is also a global crisis, of course, and we will naturally help with the production of more housings if these ventilators are eventually required by other countries.”

JCB’s response to the national call to action would see the return to work for around 50 employees affected by an extended company shutdown announced last week.

To view a video on JCB’s ventilator housing development, click here.

March 30 ─

Case IH Makes Statement On Coronavirus

Case IH made the following statement concerning the state of its operations as of March 27.

At Case IH, the health and safety of our team members, dealers’ employees, families, and, of course, producers is our first priority. But farming doesn’t stop, and Case IH North America is deemed an essential business. Because of the fluidity of the COVID-19 crisis and ensuing measures — and our current, rapidly changing environment — we continue to keep a very close pulse on these matters and will adjust our operations accordingly.

March 30 ─

CECE Survey Shows Impact of Coronavirus

Almost one third of CECE members included in a survey are being “significantly affected” by the COVID-19 pandemic with 30% already closing factories, a new report said.

A “flash “survey was carried out between March 23 and 27 by CECE (Committee for European Construction Equipment) which represents the interests of national construction equipment manufacturer associations in 13 European countries including some 1200 companies that employ approximately 300,000 people directly and indirectly.

For more information, click here.

─ March 30 ─

New Holland Publishes Video On Agriculture During Pandemic

New Holland Agriculture has released a video highlighting the role of agriculture during the time of COVID-19. Click here to view.

March 28 ─

Mercedes Offers 3D Printers For Medical Device Production

German engine and vehicle manufacturer Mercedes-Benz has offered to support the production of medical equipment with the aid of its 3D printers, through which individual components can be produced that are urgently needed in medical technology as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

“With our highly competent team and years of experience in 3D printing technology, we are ready to make our contribution to the production of medical devices,” said Jörg Burzer, member of the board of management of Mercedes-Benz AG, Production and Supply Chain. “To this end, we are also in contact with the state government of Baden-Württemberg. Our expertise and specialist knowledge is available for production; now it is up to the medical technology sector to contact us. Our 3D printers are definitely available.”

Mercedes-Benz has been gathering experience in the research and application of additive manufacturing for around 30 years. Mercedes-Benz already uses 3D printing machines to produce up to 150,000 plastic and metal components every year. This capacity can now be fully utilized for medical purposes. All common 3D printing processes can be used – from stereolithography (SLA), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) to Selective Laser Melting (SLM).

March 27 ─

Briggs & Stratton Reacts To COVID-19, Execs Reduce Salaries

Executive officers at Briggs & Stratton have taken significant salary reductions and the company has also implemented a wage reduction plan for all salaried employees as part of company’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Company President and CEO Todd Teske is taking a 40% reduction, while other officers will see 35% reductions.

According a company spokesperson, “This is a daily, sometimes hourly, changing situation but we are operating in a manner that ‘Briggs is open for business.’” The spokesperson said that many of the company’s businesses have been deemed “essential” within state mandates  and as such, the company is shipping products to dealers and retailers. “There is clear demand for our generators at retailers,” the spokesman said, “and in many cases we are producing product in addition to working out of current inventory.

“Of course, we are doing this with our employees’ safety being our foremost concern. We have our Answer Center open and taking calls from both dealers and end users.” Employees are staffing the Answer Center, the spokesman said.

March 27

Parker Hannifin CEO Issues Coronavirus Statement

Tom Williams, chairman and CEO of Parker Hannifin Corp., issued the following statement on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout our 103-year history, Parker has been called upon in times of global hardship and adversity. Our leadership and perseverance in these defining moments demonstrates how we live our purpose: Enabling Engineering Breakthroughs that Lead to a Better Tomorrow.

In this moment of great need following the COVID-19 outbreak, the actions of our remarkable team members embody the Parker culture and values that unite us. With a spirit of caring and compassion, our team members are stepping up to deliver technologies used in ventilators to treat those who are sick; engine filters and transmission components for heavy-duty trucks to transport food, water and supplies; aerospace rotorcraft products to support emergency transport of patients; refrigeration technologies to help keep food fresh and medicine viable; and many other technologies essential to people’s daily lives. Across countless critical applications, Parker products and systems are helping with the front-line effort to combat the spread of COVID-19 and support its treatment around the world.

We recognize we have unique responsibilities in the face of this pandemic. At Parker there is a shared understanding that nothing is more important than protecting the health and safety of our team members, our families and the communities we call home. We have taken early and aggressive action to help prevent the spread of the virus in our workplaces. At the same time, we are appropriately addressing the ongoing needs of our business so that we may continue to provide the technologies that are so vital to our world.

Strong, trusting relationships are the foundation of how we do business. Our dedicated sales and customer experience teams are leveraging digital collaboration platforms to ensure we are providing our valued customers, distributors and other partners with the same level of accessibility and exceptional support they have come to expect.

Our thoughts are with all individuals and families who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. While these are extraordinary times and significant challenges lie ahead, I am confident that our collective determination and resiliency will prevail, and we will come together globally to change the trajectory of this virus and emerge stronger than ever.

March 27 ─

 A Message From The CEO Of Fairbanks Morse

In a message headlined “Powering The World Forward through uncertain times!” Fairbanks Morse CEO George Whittier, outlined his company’s response to the Coronavirus crisis. Based in Beloit, Wis., Fairbanks Morse is a manufacturer of large engines used in military, power generation and marine applications.

“As a supplier to the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, energy, transportation, and health services sectors, Fairbanks Morse is designated as both critical infrastructure and an essential business under both federal and state Shelter-in-Place/Stay-at-Home orders,” Whittier wrote.” Although our facilities will remain operational to support our customers during this difficult time, Fairbanks Morse has implemented strict guidelines and procedures to keep our customers, employees, their families, and our communities safe. We are taking all necessary health and safety precautions in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and following state and national health guidelines.

“Fairbanks Morse has also implemented a work from home policy where possible. Our staff is strictly practicing social distancing, and the company is providing health and safety tools to employees in our facilities, such as hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. Employees that are critical to our manufacturing operations will continue to come into our facilities, and we have put in place strict health and safety measures to ensure their safety and that of the surrounding community.

“We recognize that it is vital for the defense sector and other critical industries in our country to count on us for support. Just this week, we are preparing engines for the U.S. Navy’s hospital ship, USNS Comfort, to help in the fight against COVID-19. Therefore, our facilities will continue to operate.”

March 27

Rolls-Royce Moving Forward In China

Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, Rolls-Royce said it is moving forward with its growth strategy in China.

As part of that strategy, the company has named VPower Group, a global systems integrator in the power generation sector, as a new distributor for MTU products in China. The company has been integrating MTU engines and systems for more than 10 years into their customer solutions. The new distribution agreement covers the sales and maintenance of MTU engines and generator sets for marine commercial and gas power generation.

For more information, click here.

March 27 ─

Komatsu Factories Affected By COVID-19

Komatsu is planning to temporarily halt production at several of its plants worldwide. The factories where production will be halted, during varying periods, include those in Brazil, Italy, the U.K., Germany and India. All of its factories in China have now resumed production, the company said.

“At business bases in operation we are implementing a wide range of counter-measures, including fever checks, the use of face masks, flex commuting, the prohibition of business trips and teleworking,” the company said. “We will continue to disclose information concerning this matter.

“We have worked on global cross-sourcing and procurement of finished vehicles and parts in order to absorb the impact of changes in market demand and foreign exchange rates. Although we are planning to halt production at some manufacturing plants, there are no critical effects on Komatsu Group’s production for financial year 2019 due to alternative procurement and inventory reallocation.

“For our sales bases to ensure the continuous supply of products and parts to customers and distributors, we are reassessing our supply routes and engaging in a shift work schedule, in particular.”

March 27 ─

Manitou Group Plans Additional Shutdowns

In accordance with the general containment obligations decreed in Italy and India, Manitou Group has temporarily ceased its industrial activities in these two countries. These shutdowns follow those of the French operations communicated March 17.

In the group’s distribution companies, business is also very slow in most geographical areas due to the globalization of containment policies and market uncertainty. Where authorized and when conditions allow this, the group is maintaining the distribution of spare parts in order to serve its operating customers.

The scale and uncertainties of COVID-19 lead Manitou Group to suspend any financial guidance for the year 2020.

In this context, Manitou Group said it remains extremely mobilized to deal with all the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis, with regard to its employees, customers, operations and all its stakeholders.

March 27 ─

Mining Show In Chile Postponed

The international mining trade show EXPOMIN, due to be held in Santiago, Chile, from April 20-24, has been postponed. No new date has been confirmed but the organizers said a rearranged event may take place in the fourth quarter of this year.

“This decision was taken due to the rapid global expansion of COVID-19, the declaration of the World Health Organization that classified it as pandemic and in line with the recommendations given out by both local and international health authorities,” the show organizers said.

March 27 ─

Europort Romania Postponed to 2021

Europort Romania, which has been scheduled for May 12-14 in Constanța, Romania, has been rescheduled to next year.

“Due to the intrusive measures international governments and health authorities have taken to counter the global COVID-19 crisis, we are closely monitoring these developments and will continue to do so,” said the show organizers. “The health and safety of our participants, visitors and employees are paramount and shall always prevail when organizing our events.

“For the sake of all stakeholders we adhere to the guidelines stipulated by the Romanian Ministry and international health authorities. For this reason we have no alternative than to reschedule Europort Romania to another date. Because it is still hard to predict how the COVID-19 virus will develop over the next months and how soon life and business can turn to recovery, we have therefore decided to reschedule Europort Romania to 18-20 May 2021.“

March 26

Terex Dealing With Coronavirus Outbreak

Terex Corp. has created a dedicated webpage to keep everyone globally informed on its latest actions and activities related to COVID-19.

“We are continuing to serve our customers with machines, parts and services despite the obstacles posed globally by the coronavirus,” the company said. “Guided by our Terex Way values, our team members are working together to serve our customers while following strict preventive guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety.

“We are shipping equipment. Parts operations, parts fabrication, service centers, logistics and shipping operations are running. Globally, our parts customer service is open with team members working remotely, equipped with the required tools and access to respond to customer inquiries. We remain well-positioned to serve customers through a number of channels, including parts.terex.com for Materials Processing businesses, gogenielift.com for Genie, utilitiesparts.terex.com for Terex Utilities, and Terex Service Centers, call centers and other flexible delivery alternatives.”

The company said it is “following stringent precautions to keep our team members safe,” and has implemented the advice and guidance of the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as following local country directives and guidance. “Team members who can work remotely are doing so,” the company said. “For those working on-site, we are following recommended preventive protocols including staggering shifts, reducing team member concentration, disinfecting surfaces, sending team members home if they ill, and establishing guidelines for quarantine and other steps to keep the work environment safe.”

The company said it “is shipping machines to meet our customers’ needs.” However, we have temporarily suspended manufacturing operations in certain locations, responding to changing customer demand and complying with government mandates to close facilities. We will reopen those operations at the earliest dates, safely, in compliance with local mandates and in response to customer demand.

The company listed its operations resumption dates.

Aerial Work Platforms: Huron S.D. (open); Oklahoma City, Okla. (April 13); Moses Lake, Wash. (April 13); Redmond, Wash. (April 13); Rock Hill, S.C. (April 13); Watertown, S.D. (open), Changzhou, China (open); Umbertide, Italy (April 6).

Materials Processing: Canton, S.D. (open); Durand, Mich. (open); Fort Wayne, Ind. (open); Newton, NH (open); Oklahoma City, Okla. (open); Bad Schönborn, Germany (partially open now – short work weeks April 1 – April 20); Brisbane, Australia (open); Crespellano, Italy (April 6); Fontanafredda, Italy (April 6); Hosur, India (April 15); Jacques, Australia (open); Subang Jaya, Malaysia (April 15); UK/Northern Ireland ─ Coalville, Omagh, Dungannon, Campsie and Ballymoney (April 17).

The company said its supply chain is flexible and resilient. “From the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak, our supply chain teams ensured that our factories received the components and materials needed to maintain uninterrupted production,” the company said. “As we implement temporary plant suspensions and production rate reductions, the focus of our supply chain teams is shifting to limiting inbound material, so we receive only what is needed to support our current production schedules. We are working with suppliers to cancel or reschedule orders as needed.

For more details, click here.

March 26

Komatsu Responding To COVID-19, Continuing Operations

In an announcement on its website dated March 23, Komatsu provided an update on its response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

The statement read:

As government leaders from multiple states across the U.S. and around the world are ordering their residents to either shelter in place or “stay home, stay safe,” we are providing an update from Komatsu.

We continue to work with our global teams, distributors and supply chain partners, and as an essential business, our factories, service operations and parts distribution businesses remain open and committed to providing the equipment, technology and services our customers depend on, while prioritizing health and safety measures at our facilities and for our employees worldwide.

As always, our first priority is the safety and well-being of our employees. Following government and global health organization guidance regarding COVID-19, we have enacted policies that reduce risk for our employees including remote work for all who can, rotating and segregating essential operations and supply shifts, strict travel restrictions, prohibiting visitors to our facilities and supporting quarantine needs.

For our employees who cannot perform their jobs from home, our company is fully complying with all Center for Disease Control (CDC), state, and best practices for hygiene, social distancing, and protective measures. Only essential manufacturing and logistics technicians are working in our factories – to ensure the flow of essential parts in support of operations globally.

We are working closely with our vendors, suppliers and global leadership to continue to move forward in accordance with our Business Continuity Plans. Meeting customer needs and providing essential support for the construction, industrial machinery, mining and forestry industries remain top priorities and we will continue to fulfill our obligations to the best of our ability as we monitor the evolving situation, and communicate and adapt accordingly.

Customers who need additional assistance at this time should contact their Komatsu representative or local distributor for direct support.

─ March 26 ─

Caterpillar Announces COVID-19 Response

Caterpillar Inc. provided a business update regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The continued spread of the COVID-19 pandemic is starting to impact Caterpillar’s supply chain, a possibility the company disclosed in its risk factors included in the company’s Form 10-K filed on February 19, 2020,” the company said in a statement. “The company is monitoring the situation closely and supply chain teams have been executing business continuity plans, which include, but are not limited to, being alert to potential short supply situations, and, if necessary, utilizing alternative sources and/or air freight, redirecting orders to other distribution centers and prioritizing the redistribution of the most impactful parts. Caterpillar is committed to continuing to execute these plans and will remain in close contact with its supply chain to monitor future possible implications, especially on production facilities.”

Caterpillar said that at this time, it “is continuing to run the majority of its U.S. domestic operations and plans to continue operations in other parts of the world, as permitted by local authorities. However, due to uncertain economic conditions resulting in weaker demand, potential supply constraints and the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and related government actions, Caterpillar is temporarily suspending operations at certain facilities. The company will continue to monitor the situation and may suspend operations at additional facilities as the situation warrants.

“The magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the extent of any impact on Caterpillar’s business, financial position, results of operations or liquidity, which could be material, cannot be reasonably estimated at this time due to the rapid development and fluidity of the situation. It will be determined by the duration of the pandemic, its geographic spread, business disruptions and the overall impact on the global economy.”

Caterpillar’s said its financial results for the first quarter and remainder of 2020 will be impacted by the factors mentioned and the continued global economic uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, Caterpillar is withdrawing its financial outlook for 2020 provided in the press release filed as Exhibit 99.1 to its Form 8-K filed on January 31, 2020. Further updates will be provided in Caterpillar’s first-quarter earnings announcement and conference call on April 28, 2020.

“Caterpillar’s financial position remains strong,” the statement said. “On a consolidated basis, Caterpillar ended 2019 with $8.3 billion of cash and available global credit facilities of $10.5 billion.”

The company said it “continues to implement several preventive measures while also meeting the needs of global customers. They include increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of facilities, social distancing practices, remote working when possible, restrictions on business travel, cancellation of certain events and limitations on visitor access to facilities.”

March 26

No Hannover Messe In 2020

Show organizer Deutsche Messe AG announced that Hannover Messe will not take place this year due to the increasingly critical situation surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic. The Hannover, Germany, region has issued a decree that prohibits the staging of the trade show for industrial technology. From now until the next Hannover Messe in April 2021, a digital information and networking offer will provide exhibitors and visitors with the opportunity for economic policy orientation and technological exchange, the organization said.

“Given the dynamic development around Covid-19 and the extensive restrictions on public and economic life, Hannover Messe cannot take place this year,” said Dr. Jochen Köckler, chairman of the board of management, Deutsche Messe AG. “Our exhibitors, partners and our entire team did everything they could to make it happen, but today we have to accept that in 2020 it will not be possible to host the world’s most important industrial event.”

Comprehensive travel restrictions, bans on group gatherings and a prohibition decree in the Hannover region made it impossible to stage the show, the organizers said in a statement. It also noted that the manufacturing industry is already struggling with the consequences of the pandemic. Demand and sales in German industry are declining, resulting in supply bottlenecks, production stops and reduced working hours for employees.

March 26

bauma CTT Russia Rescheduled

Messe München, organizers of  bauma CTT Russia, announced that following the directives of the Moscow government, it has postponed the event from its planned May dates. The show has been rescheduled for Sept. 8-11 at Crocus Expo in Moscow.

Messe München said the measures taken by the Moscow city government against the spread of coronavirus will apply for the time being until April10. In view of this development, “the postponement is the logical consequence, said Stefan Rummel, managing director, Messe München

We are now looking ahead confidently and working with our national and international partners from the construction industry to organize a successful bauma CTT Russia 2020 in September,” Rummel said.

Sergey Alexandrov, managing director of Messe München Rus, added: “We are taking the spread of the coronavirus very seriously and have been monitoring the local situation closely. Based on current developments, we are confident that by setting the new date we will create good conditions for staging bauma CTT Russia.

“There is still a great demand for participating and we have the commitment of most of our exhibitors to follow our decision.”

Visitors can still register online for bauma CTT Russia. Tickets already purchased tickets remain valid, the organizers said.

For more information, click here.

March 25

 A Message Of Hope In Italy

Italian construction firm Salini Impregilo has launched an initiative to beam lights the color of the Italian flag across the under-construction Genoa bridge in Liguria.

The company said the move was intended to be a message of hope and a symbol of solidarity for the many Italian people affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Genoa bridge will be lit up each evening at 7.30 pm local time, while the Italian national anthem is played, and the event will be livestreamed on Salini Impregilo’s website.

Read more about it at KHL’s Construction Europe here.

March 25

China “Speeding Up” Construction

China has resumed construction on just under 90% of “key projects” according to an official with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and as reported on China.org.

Construction of 89.1% of 11,000 key projects is ongoing – although this figure does not include the Hubei Province which suffered large numbers of people being infected with Coronavirus.

The NDRC is reported to have pledged efforts to speed up the resumption of key projects by solving the problems of labor shortage, transportation and supply of raw materials with accurate measures.

Read more about it at KHL’s International Construction here.

March 25

Construction “As Usual” In UAE

The construction industry in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is continuing as “usual” despite the impact of Coronavirus, according to data and analytics company GlobalData.

As a result of the worldwide implementation of precautionary health measures to help stop the spread of the virus, the country’s trade, tourism and transport industries have all been affected by the global slowdown of these industries.

With these critical UAE industries struggling, the country’s central bank has introduced a US$27 billion Targeted Economic Support Scheme that aims “to contain the repercussions of the pandemic COVID-19.”

Read more about it at KHL’s International Construction here.

March 25  

European Equipment Manufacturers Call For Emissions Freeze

Rules forcing manufacturers to meet emissions deadlines should by frozen because of the devastating COVID-19 outbreak, according to a hard-hitting joint statement from the European non-road mobile machinery industry.

A range of trade organizations representing thousands of construction equipment makers has today asked the European Commission to adopt swift measures in response to disruptions caused by the pandemic.

In a joint letter sent today to the European Commission trade organisations including CECE, CEMA, EGMF, EUnited, Europgen and FEM ask for a moratorium on the application of 2020 and 2021 deadlines listed in Regulation 2016/1628/EU on exhaust emissions from Non-Road Mobile Machinery and 2018/985/EU for agricultural vehicles.

“The situation is critical,” said Riccardo Viaggi, secretary general of Brussels-based CECE, the Committee for European Construction Equipment. “A temporary moratorium must be granted, with deadlines postponed until the situation can be reassessed. Neutral from an environmental point of view, the measure would prevent further economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to our manufacturing industries and the jobs that depend on them.”

Read more about it here.

March 25

Deutz Shutting Down Some Production In Europe

Deutz, the Cologne, Germany-headquartered manufacturer of engines and drive systems, announced it will be shutting down large parts of its production in Europe ─ Cologne, Ulm, Herschbach and Zafra ─ from April 1 through April 17.

Many of the company’s customers have already closed down their production or are planning to do so in the very near future, Deutz said in a statement. The statement said the action was also being taken in order to protect its employees and that the company, following consultation with employee representatives, will apply for short-time working.

Against this backdrop and amidst the rapidly developing coronavirus crisis, Deutz said it is withdrawing its guidance for 2020. The company said it has already taken precautionary measures to ensure that it has sufficient liquidity with regard to possible stress scenarios due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Coronavirus crisis is forcing us to take these measures,” said Dr. Frank Hiller, chairman of the Deutz AG board of management. “So far, we have not had a confirmed case of coronavirus at our Deutz AG sites, and naturally we want it to remain that way. The health of our employees is the focus of our efforts.

”In addition, the precautionary measures to ensure compliance with minimum distances between employees are making efficient production currently impossible in the assembly area, which is why we have taken the decision to temporarily close down large parts of our production.”

March 25

German Construction Continues Through Crisis

The three largest contractor associations in Germany – ZDB, HDB and BVMB – have jointly welcomed a German government decision for construction to continue despite the COVID-19 crisis, KHL’s International Construction reports.

“We very much welcome the decree issued by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Construction and Home Affairs (BMI) and the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) on the continuation of construction work in building construction, road construction and hydraulic engineering”, said Reinhard Quast, President of the Central Association of the German Building Industry (ZDB).

“The continuation and new tendering of infrastructure construction sites is an essential pillar of the domestic economy, which must be maintained.”

Read more about it on KHL’s Construction Europe here.

March 25

JCB Extends U.K. Production Shutdown

JCB is suspending U.K. production until at least the end of April as a result of the Coronavirus crisis and will continue to pay employees unable to work, the company announced today.

The firm’s nine manufacturing plants in Staffordshire and Derbyshire in England and Wrexham, Wales, closed March 18th as disruption resulting from the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic caused an unprecedented reduction in global demand. At that stage, only shop floor employees were affected by the move and were paid in full during this period, while office staff continued to work a 39-hour week from home.

The news of today’s extended shutdown will mean that the vast majority of JCB’s 6500-person workforce will now be asked to stop working until at least the end of April. During this period, all affected JCB employees will be paid 80% of their basic pay. Senior JCB directors will not be taking a salary from the company until further notice, the company said.

“These are certainly unprecedented times and none of us expected to find ourselves in this situation,” said JCB CEO Graeme Macdonald. “In announcing that all those JCB colleagues asked not to work will receive 80% of their pay, we hope to remove any financial concerns that many people will undoubtedly have had.”

JCB said it also intends to make an application to the U.K. government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help offset the cost of its support of employees during this challenging period. The scheme is designed to support employers in continuing to pay part of employees’ salaries, for employees who would otherwise have been laid off.

The government scheme pays 80% of an employee’s salary up to a maximum of £2500 per month. In devising its scheme, JCB has set no cap and will pay 80% of each affected employee’s pay.

March 25

Rental Demand In Germany Stable, Says Zeppelin

In Germany, Zeppelin Rental’s main country of operation, demand for rental equipment has remained stable and even increased for certain types of equipment as customers try to complete projects more quickly before construction sites are potentially shut down.

Similarly, in Slovakia, the Czech Republic and the Nordic countries, construction activities are largely uninterrupted. However, construction work in large areas of Austria was halted last week.

Zeppelin Rental’s depots remain open, and its supply chains and logistics were said to be in good working order.

More information is available from KHL’s International Rental News here.

March 25

Hungarian Lube Supplier Making Sanitizer Products

MOL Lube Ltd., part of the MOL Group of companies, announced it has started production of hand and surface sanitizers to offer protection against the Coronavirus. The company said it has shifted production of a windshield washer production line at its Almásfüzitő, Hungary, plant to address a shortage of sanitizer products in Hungary. The facility is operating 24/7, in three shifts, producing a daily volume of around 50,000 L, the company said.

MOL said the formulas for the two new products have been created on the basis of WHO recommendations, and have been tested and approved by the National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition in record time in light of the COVID-19 situation. The ethanol for producing the hand sanitizer has been sourced from Hungary. These new hygienic products are thus being sourced from, and manufactured by, Hungarian firms.

MOL Lub has already shipped the first manufactured volumes to state institutions playing a key role in the fight against the Coronavirus (e.g., hospitals, waste management companies, public utilities) as directed by the Operative Group set up by the Hungarian government. Production and shipping will be continuous, the company said.

MOL is also using these new products to protect its own colleagues working at its refineries, plants and service stations against the coronavirus so that an adequate number of our staff will always be available to ensure the security of energy supply in Hungary. MOL Hygi is available in 2 L recyclable plastic bottles for the time being but will also come in smaller sizes as of next month.

MOL Group is also starting production of the sanitizers in Slovakia and Croatia. INA, the Croatian member of the MOL Group, will be producing 50,000 L of sanitizer for now. In Slovakia, production of the sanitizer was launched at VURUP, also a member of MOL Group.

“Sanitizers, which are one of the key tools of protection against the coronavirus, are in short supply all over the world,” said Chairman-CEO Zsolt Hernádi. “In light of the worsening pandemic situation we have, in coordination with the Hungarian government, decided to put a production line at one of our plants in the service of offering protection against the virus.

“Extraordinary circumstances require extraordinary solutions. We have made the switch at the plant, obtained the necessary approvals and optimized production processes in only two weeks, a record time. We truly hope that the hand sanitizer manufactured at the Almásfüzitő plant will be a meaningful contribution to the fight against the virus.”

March 24

Haynes Enters Temporary Shutdown

Haynes International, a producer of alloys used in power generation technologies and other markets, has shut down operations and will be closed for the next two weeks.

“These are unprecedented times for our country and our company,” said Mike Shor, president and chief executive officer. “Our responsibility is to take action to keep our employees safe while also working to manage the financial well-being of our company.”

The company had already implemented staggered shifts, cleaning between shifts and social distancing and hygiene policies. However, the current widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the decision to implement the temporary shutdown of two weeks in most of the company’s production operations.

During the shutdown, the company will continue to thoroughly clean and sanitize its facilities and will work on plans on how best to structure restart plans. The company said it is confident in its liquidity position as it has a strong balance sheet and a net cash position.

March 24 ─

Capstone Makes Changes

Capstone Turbine Corp., a manufacturer of microturbine energy systems, said that in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic the company would be furloughing approximately 70% of its direct workforce, leaving behind only staff deemed essential for day-to-day administrative operations for a minimum period of 45 days.

The company’s leadership team is also taking a 25% temporary salary cut. Twenty-five other top company managers also volunteered to take 15% pay cuts.

“With over 1000 confirmed cases in California and a “Shelter-in-Place” order for all of California, we enacted an emergency Business Continuity Plan designed to keep employees safe, continue to support our critical Aftermarket Factory Protection Plan (FPP) long-term service contracts and spare parts deliveries to our Essential Critical Infrastructure Customers, such as Energy, Health Care, Wastewater Treatment, etc. as well as to sustain our key long-term business initiatives,” said Darren Jamison, president and chief executive officer of Capstone. “In these unprecedented and uncertain times, the health and safety of our Capstone and distributor employees, their families, and our communities are of the highest importance as well as doing everything possible to still deliver on our stated goal of positive EBITDA by reducing operating expenses and leveraging our high margin reoccurring revenue streams.”

As part of its Business Continuity Plan, Capstone is taking the following steps:

─ Beginning March 30, Capstone is furloughing approximately 70% of its direct workforce, leaving behind only staff deemed essential for day-to-day administrative operations for a minimum period of 45 days. This will ensure those who remain can more easily practice safe and proper social distancing.

─ During this period (March 30th – May 18th), Capstone will have a limited production capability of new microturbine products, but has recently pre-built approximately 5MW of microturbine finished goods for shipment during this period of suspended production.

─ Capstone will maintain a crew of essential operations employees to manufacture service engines, remanufacture spare parts and provide service spares in support of FPPs and global distributor spare parts orders and is pre-building and shipping immediately to sustain our critical customer sites during this time of uncertainty.

Capstone said it expects the ongoing, global economic impact from the COVID-19 pandemic to have an adverse impact on its revenue and adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter of Fiscal 2020 and also may have an adverse impact on its financial condition and results of operations for the first quarter of Fiscal 2021.

─ March 24 ─

Dura-Bar Remains In Operation

Dura-Bar, the Woodstock, Ill.-based producer of continuous cast iron bars used in a range of fluid power and oil and gas applications, announced via LinkedIn that its operations continue across all sites.

“We have not experienced any material shipment delays from our suppliers and maintain inventory of all materials necessary to continue manufacturing operations,” the company said in its post. “We are committed to keeping our customers supplied, and measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our facilities remain in place with strict monitoring. We implemented planned overtime to support continuation of on-time shipments. We adjusted near-term schedules to balance demand with capacity.”

March 24 ─

Oshkosh Corp. Announces Closures

Oshkosh Corp. posted a statement on its website outlining its strategy for dealing with the Coronavirus.

“A number of Access Equipment customers are modifying their delivery requirements,” said Wilson R. Jones, Oshkosh Corp. president and CEO. “In response to these requests and expected demand levels as well as supply chain constraints, we have decided to suspend Access Equipment production in North America on March 30 with current plans to resume production on April 13. We have also taken similar actions in our European facilities.”

“JLG and Jerr-Dan team members will continue to support their customers with aftermarket parts and service as essential field operations remain open.”

At the same time, the JLG manufacturing plant in China has resumed full operation and is increasing production to meet global capacity targets, the company said. Its Romanian plant also remains open but with limited capacity.

“While COVID-19 is also impacting our Defense, Fire & Emergency and Commercial segments, we continue to use CDC recommended safety procedures across the company and production continues in those segments at this time,” Jones said. “We are proud to build and supply essential equipment that supports critical business operations and helps ensure the safety and health of citizens and the economies where we do business.”

As a result of the evolving impact of COVID-19 on the economy, the company believes its financial results will be impacted, but the magnitude and timing of the impact is uncertain. In addition, production at any of the Company’s facilities may be further impacted as a result of possible government, market or Company actions due to COVID-19. For these reasons, Oshkosh is withdrawing its fiscal 2020 financial expectations. The company plans to provide an update for the remainder of fiscal 2020 when it announces fiscal 2020 second quarter results.

─ March 24 ─

Carraro Halts Some Production

Italian power transmission company Carraro has halted production at several of its sites due to the Coronavirus. The company said it made the decision as the governments of some countries where it operates have taken the decision to temporarily stop, on their territories, activities not strictly related to basic and essential goods.

It said that because of that reason, the Carraro Group “will also have to stop some of its production sites starting from 23 March to 3 April.”

The Italian plants located in Campodarsego (Padua) and Maniago (Pordenone), as well as Carraro India (Pune), Carraro Argentina (Buenos Aires) and Carraro Brasil (Caxias do Sul) will shut down.

At the same time Carraro Agritalia plant (Rovigo) – specializing in tractor production, the Spare Parts distribution center of Driveservice (Poggiofiorito, Chieti) and Carraro China (Qingdao), which has fully recovered its functionality after a short period of closure in the month of February, will remain active.

Carraro said that continuity will be provided “through smart working and with a partial presence in the offices, to the functions that are not strictly productive and are linked to administrative, tax, legal, as well as commercial and operational obligations.”

The company’s main power transmission systems market is agriculture where it makes gears, transmission systems and special tractors. Carraro also develops advanced transmission systems for backhoe loaders, general loaders, telehandlers, wheeled excavators and compaction rollers.

─ March 24 ─

Main Filter Staying Open

Main Filter, a North Carolina-headquartered manufacturer of filters for hydraulic, lubrication oil, industrial air, water, fuel and specialty applications, said in a statement that it would remain open at its facilities in North Carolina, Michigan and Ontario, Canada.

“Recent announcements made by the State of Michigan, the Province of Ontario and the State of North Carolina regarding the closure of all non-essential businesses, provide exemptions for certain businesses and industries that are deemed “essential services,” the company said in a statement. “Main Filter is considered an essential service, supplying filtration products to support critical military, energy, transportation and agricultural industries.

“Because of this, Main Filter will remain open and operating normal hours.”

─ March 23 ─

MP Filtri Announces Closures

Italian filter manufacturer MP Filtri announces the closing of its production plants in compliance with the last decree of the president of the Italian Council of Ministers, released on March 21.

“Despite the whole MP Filtri operational activity was aligned with the provisions of the government and the WHO, it’s necessary to do what it takes when we’re called to,” the company said. The plants will remain closed until April 3.

─ March 23 ─

Navistar Suspends Production, Withdraws Guidance

Navistar International Corp. today provided a business update in light of the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). As of March 23, the company is suspending production at its truck assembly plant in Springfield, Ohio, for two weeks in response to disruptions to Navistar’s supply chain that are resulting from the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. The company is also withdrawing its previously announced financial and industry guidance for the fiscal year ending Oct. 31.

On March 4, the company reiterated its 2020 financial and industry guidance when it announced its first quarter 2020 results for the fiscal period ended Jan. 31, and stated its guidance may require revision, pending any change to operations due to COVID-19.

Navistar said it cannot predict if or when any further disruptions will occur due to the rapidly changing environment as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. The company believes its future financial results will be impacted, but at this time, the magnitude of those impacts is uncertain. As a result, the company is withdrawing its 2020 financial and industry guidance.

As of Jan. 31, the company stated it had $1.0 billion of consolidated cash and cash equivalents. Additionally, the company reported its Financial Services operations had funding capacity available under its $748 million revolving bank credit facility, as well as access to other sources of funding in the U.S. and Mexico.

─ March 23 ─

Westport Suspends Production At Italian Plants

Westport Fuel Systems Inc. announced that pursuant to the Italian government’s decree issued on March 22 regarding COVID-19, the company will temporarily suspend production at its facilities in Cherasco and Albinea, Italy. The directive is in effect until April 3.

The temporary suspension of the company’s production in Brescia, Italy, announced March 16 will be extended to align with this latest directive.

“The health and well-being of our global team of employees continues to be our utmost priority”, said David M. Johnson, chief executive officer of Westport Fuel Systems. “Our Italian team has shown tremendous resilience during this difficult time and we support government efforts to act decisively to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.”

─ March 23 ─

Date Clash Causes Marine Show Cancellation

The flurry of trade show rearrangements prompted by the Coronavirus has led to the complete demise, for this year, of the Electric & Hybrid Marine World Expo.

Last week the organizers of the Amsterdam event said it was re-scheduling the show to Oct. 27-29. However, in a statement today, show organizers said, “Many of you will now be aware of the extremely unfortunate timing of both our and Posidonia’s new dates announcement. Neither our Greek friends nor us could have possibly known that we’d chosen the same alternative dates within hours of each other.”

Posidonia is a Greek shipping exhibition which also recently announced it was switching show dates to the Oct. 26-30 at the Athens Metropolitan Expo.

“We are aware that thanks to Covid-19 and the rescheduling of shows, the industry now faces the prospect of attending almost a year’s worth of shows in just the three-month period between September and the end of November,” the statement added. “And so we have taken the decision to cancel Electric & Hybrid Marine World Expo 2020. The show, which we launched in 2014 and have seen more than triple in size as the industry moves to cleaner, cheaper and more efficient propulsion systems, will absolutely return June 22, 23, 24 next year – bigger and better than ever.”

─ March 23 ─

Wiring Supplier Closing Plants

Leoni AG, a German supplier of wiring systems for specialty vehicles and automotive applications, announced a series of moves related to the Coronavirus outbreak, which is said would likely lead to “considerable burdens on sales, earnings and liquidity.”

Against the backdrop of the expected burdens, the company said it was closing its plants in Europe, North Africa and the Americas, for a period expected to be four weeks. It is also introducing short-time work in Germany as well as comparable measures at other European locations. In addition, Leoni said it plans to apply for financial aid to increase its financial flexibility.

At the same time, the company said the situation at its Wiring Systems facilities in China have largely normalized and. All plants were able to stabilize production at almost the previous level.

Leoni also expects the automotive business of the Wire & Cable Solutions Division to suffer subsequent declines and production limitations. For the time being, production for the industrial business of the Wire & Cables Division will be maintained, although some losses are to be expected, the company said.

─ March 21-22 ─

Statement From Wolf-Henning Scheider, CEO Of ZF Friedrichshafen AG

“As the Coronavirus continues to trouble the world, our first responsibility is to our people and societies. ZF task forces are working around the clock to carefully monitor the situation and ensure that our employees are informed about all necessary measures to minimize the risk of infection – also in their private lives.

“As a major employer and supplier to the industry both in Germany and globally, we are fighting hard to maintain economic stability while doing our part to contain the virus.

“Over the coming days, we are suspending many operations in Europe and North America following announcements by truck and pass car manufacturers. Wherever possible we continue to uphold our end of the supply chain to support operations that are still running or have resumed production. We are also preparing to fully support our customers for when the situation calms down and production ramps up.

“I am convinced that we will overcome this together, just as our colleagues in China have done extremely well. We learn from their resolute actions and appreciate their acts of support as the pandemic shifts to further regions.

“We are all looking forward to re-joining the competition for innovation, quality and value and doing our part to shape next generation mobility when our economy restarts. For now, we give all our strength to keep everybody safe and manage an unprecedented crisis.”

─ Friday, March 20 ─

Cummins Provides Business Update

Cummins provided a business update in light of recent changes in customer demand and a weaker outlook for the global economy.

As noted below, today, the company suspended production at its Midrange Engine Plant in Walesboro, Ind., for two weeks in response to the decision by its customer Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to shutdown pickup truck assembly until at least the end of March, as a consequence of the Coronavirus pandemic. That news followed recent communication of lower commercial truck production rates by some of its customers in North America and other plant shutdowns by various OEMs in Europe over the past few days.

While it is not announcing any other production suspensions or plant shutdowns at this time, Cummins said it cannot predict if and when further suspensions or shutdowns may arise. Possible causes for further shutdowns include changes in customer demand, shortfalls in supplier deliveries and the impact of government regulations or mandates.

Cummins said its financial results for the first quarter will be impacted by these changes in customer production plans, but a more significant concern is the growing uncertainty about demand for the remainder of 2020. As a result, the company has withdrawn its guidance for full year 2020 results, which did not factor in the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. Cummins will comment on its 2020 outlook during its first quarter 2020 earnings call scheduled for April 28.

“Cummins is in a strong financial position, we have experienced leaders who have managed through several challenging situations in the past and we will successfully navigate through this difficult period,” said Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger.

Cummins Chairman Tom Linebarger
Cummins Chairman Tom Linebarger

Cummins said that as of Dec. 31, 2019, the company held cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $1.5 billion and committed borrowing capacity of $2.8 billion under existing revolving credit facilities.

─ Friday, March 20 ─

KHL Statement On Coronavirus

KHLAs a business and as individuals we are facing the same challenges as you ─ our readers, advertisers, clients, partners and suppliers.

We are all taking action to contain the COVID-19 virus and to safeguard our families, employees and our businesses. The majority of KHL’s staff around the world have moved to home working, and that may become all of us if government measures in the U.K. and U.S.A. change. We are pleased, however, that our Chinese colleagues in Shanghai and Beijing are now moving back into their offices and starting to resume normal working. That is a comforting reminder that this situation will not last forever.

There are aspects of our business that have had to change. We have already postponed several conferences and events, and others may follow. We are working with our partners and other events organizers to make sure that these changes work for the wider industry.

We are a publishing, events and data company, and providing up-to-date, accurate information for businesses is what we do. That will not change during the outbreak. In fact we know that businesses require more information, not less, during these times.

KHL journalists based throughout the world are continuing to work with the aim of bringing news and clarity to a rapidly changing situation. Our websites have seen record levels of visitors, drawn by our ability to provide a global perspective on events as they unfold.

We have this rolling news story on the Coronavirus on www.dieselprogress.com and at International Construction, providing stories and information from all over the world. KHL is also now producing a high-frequency newsletter, Construction & Coronavirus, focusing on the impact that COVID-19 is having on construction ─ on sites, in factories, and in offices. You can subscribe to the newsletter here.

As many of you may be working from home, we remind you that you can read your KHL magazine in digital format. You can subscribe for free here. If you would like us to temporarily redirect your paper copy to a home address, we can do that. Please contact us by e-mail at circulation@khl.com

We know that as an industry we can weather this unprecedented event and come back stronger. We send you our best wishes.

─ Friday, March 20

Electric Vehicle Manufacturer Suspends U.S. Production

Arcimoto, Inc. announced today that it will temporarily suspend all production of the Fun Utility Vehicle through April 17 at its U.S. factory in Eugene, Ore., in response to the rapidly evolving coronavirus pandemic. The company will maintain a work-from-home staff to push forward critical operations, including compliance and reporting, research and development, customer service, and deployment of the company’s recently-launched Rapid Responder and Deliverator pilot vehicles to key potential fleet operators.

“We face truly unprecedented times, here and in every community around the planet,” said Mark Frohnmayer, Arcimoto founder and CEO. “We moved to a work-from-home model for everyone who could and implemented aggressive social distancing and sanitation policies in the production facility last week. As we have been monitoring the rapidly-changing nature of this pandemic, we have concluded that we cannot properly ensure the safety of our production team until we have personal protective equipment and adequate COVID-19 community testing resources in place. As such, we’ve made the necessary decision to temporarily suspend production. Today’s action is the right decision for our team, their families and for our community.”

─ Friday, March 20 ─

SAE Cancels WCX 2020 World Congress

Due to concerns around the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, SAE International said it “has made the difficult decision” to cancel the WCX 2020 World Congress Experience, originally scheduled for April 21-23 in Detroit.

SAE said it extensively monitored and evaluated health guidance from international health authorities, government- and corporate-imposed travel restrictions and the recently declared State of Emergency issued by the state of Michigan before making the decision to cancel. The organization said it is currently evaluating alternate options for how to best deliver the technical content that has been developed to registered attendees.

─ Friday, March 20

Cummins Closes Midrange Engine Plant

Cummins Inc. closed its Columbus Midrange engine plant in Walesboro, Ind., today, according to a report in the Columbus Republic newspaper. The closure was prompted by a shutdown at the Chrysler plant in Detroit, Mich., where Dodge Ram pickups are built,

Company officials said because the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented, Cummins will pay its employees during the time the plant is closed, the newspaper reported.

A day earlier, Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger posted a personal note on the company’s website titled “We will get through this.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has now touched every corner of the world,” Linebarger wrote. “We are in uncharted territory, and all of us are having to make changes – big ones – in how we live and work.

“Like many of you, I am concerned about my family, especially my parents who are in the high-risk category. I am also concerned about all of you and about the impact the pandemic is having on our people, our customers and partners, and our communities. My heart and thoughts go out to everyone who has been affected by the coronavirus or the problems created by the pandemic. The impact on people is very significant.

“The impact on the global economy is also large and growing and its significance will not be fully understood for some time. As restaurants, hotels, and businesses of all sizes close their doors, many employees will be unable to earn wages and will soon find themselves experiencing financial challenges. Many of these businesses support our company, our communities and our families, and their employees are people we know personally.

“At Cummins, we are doing everything that we can to continue supporting our customers and partners and to keep our business operating so we can support our employees and our communities. Moreover, our products are critical to the economy at this time. We supply primary and backup power to medical facilities, power to data centers and call centers that help keep people connected, engines for ambulances, fire trucks, food and medical delivery vehicles, and so much more. Our service workshops around the world also ensure that these products continue to work when they are needed most.

“I want to sincerely thank those of you who are working at our manufacturing plants, distribution centers, technical centers, and service operations around the world. I have never been more proud of the ways that Cummins employees and products power the world.”

Linebarger added that Cummins is “working across all areas of our company and with governments, agencies and other groups to make informed decisions and act as quickly as possible.”

To read the complete note, click here.

— Friday, March 20 —

 Bauma CTT Russia Postponed

 The construction show Bauma CTT Russia, which was due to be held in Moscow May 26-29, has been postponed. The new dates for the show will be announced within the next two weeks.

“COVID-19 is a big concern for all of us,” said show organizers Messe München. “It raises questions about how things will happen in the near future. As the event’s organizer, we have decided to postpone Bauma CTT Russia. Rest assured that we are aware of the responsibility that comes with this decision and will consider all the relevant factors and official guidelines when making it.

“The health of our customers, exhibitors and visitors naturally takes the highest priority for us. Therefore, we will of course continue to monitor developments closely over the next few weeks.”

— Friday, March 20 —

Rolls-Royce Statement On COVID-19

Rolls-Royce Power Systems sent the following statement to Diesel Progress:

“The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic also affect Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems and its employees. “Protecting their health is our number one priority. At the same time, we are using all the means at our disposal to keep the business running as best as we can – in accordance with all the rules and regulations,” explained Norbert Veser, Head of the Power Systems crisis management team. “Thousands of employees work in the home office wherever possible. In the production plants, the employees keep the greatest possible distance. They work in separate shifts and we disinfect the workplaces between shifts.

“We keep the manufacturing facilities active in that way so that we can continue to serve as many customers of our MTU products as possible. Because of Covid-19, we will not be able to keep all planned delivery times, but we do what we can: in production, in the office and in service.”

— Friday, March 20 —

CNH Suspending European Production For Two Weeks 

CNH Industrial N.V. announced today that in light of the supply chain constrains caused by the COVID-19 emergency in Europe, it is suspending the majority of its European assembly operations for a two-week period. This suspension applies to the company’s agricultural, construction, commercial and specialty vehicles production facilities.

The company said most component facilities will remain operational at low speed, always in strict compliance with national health directives, in order ensure the continuation of supply to the company’s manufacturing facilities located outside of Europe. European parts depots and most dealer locations will also remain open to maintain uninterrupted service to its customer base. CNH Industrial is working in close consultation with unions and works councils to implement the temporary shut downs and the re-opening of the plants.

“The company takes the health and well-being of its entire workforce very seriously, and we have implemented all measures to protect the employee population, as well as to help in the fight to contain the spread of the pandemic,” said Hubertus Mühlhäuser, chief executive officer, CNH Industrial. “The decision to shut down our European assembly plants for a two-week period is driven by disruptions in our European supply chain that do not allow for an efficient operation. During these temporary shutdowns, we will also undertake further extensive sanitization and deep cleaning procedures.”

Alongside these measures, and those already in place at the company’s locations around the world, the CNH Industrial’s COVID-19 global taskforce is constantly monitoring the situation in all markets in which it operates, and will take further measures as required, while continuing to respond to end market demand and service requirements for its mission critical capital goods.

─ Friday, March 20 ─

Wacker Neuson Brings Plant Holidays Forward

The Wacker Neuson Group announced that in light of the increasing impacts on the group’s supply chains and against the background of the cautious guidance compared to the financial results of the previous year, the company’s production programs will be reduced starting end of this week and plant holidays planned for the summer will be brought forward at certain plants. Further, the group said it will implement various models of short-time work. The extent of the production cutbacks will then be tailored to the conditions of the markets and the supply chains, the company said.

The sale of machines and services for the construction and agricultural industries will be sustained, as far as permitted by the local conditions. To date, the Wacker Neuson Group said it has a high level of inventory of machines and spare parts at its disposal, through which a considerable degree of supply capability is secured. Nevertheless, there will be partial delays in delivery due to the significant restrictions in logistic chains.

The group’s Chinese location Pinghu has resumed its activities in the meantime. The procedures regarding procurement, production and sales are increasingly normalizing.

─ Friday, March 20 ─

ScotPlant Changes Dates

ScotPlant, estimated to be Scotland’s biggest construction equipment trade event, has been postponed and rescheduled for September 25-26.

The exhibition was due to take place at the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, Edinburgh, April 24-25. However, after monitoring events closely in recent days, including plans to curtail mass gathering events in Scotland and growing concern around the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the organizers said they have reluctantly taken the decision to postpone the show until later in the year.

“We appreciate that this decision will impact on organizations and visitors’ travel plans and schedules. However, the health, safety and well-being of all ScotPlant attendees has to be our number one priority and we hope people will understand why we have had to take this course of action in the face of unprecedented circumstances,” the organizers said.

─ Friday, March 20 ─

BMZ Refocusing On Batteries For Medical Devices

The BMZ Group, a supplier of batteries for power tools, energy storage systems and mobile equipment such as forklifts and excavators, said it is converting its production to accelerate its focus on Li-ion batteries for a wide variety of medical applications. Customers producing ventilators, in particular, have asked the company for its solidarity and support. In some cases, the volume of inquiries has risen by 50%.

“We are all going through an unplanned stress test at the moment,” said Sven Bauer, company founder and CEO. “Each of us is affected by the Coronavirus, and we can see its consequences everywhere we look. We have all taken precautionary measures, and we discuss the situation in a daily Skype call, while gathering information first-hand from our international subsidiaries.

“For us, health protection is paramount. That is why we didn’t hesitate for a moment when we received a distressed call from manufacturers of urgently needed ventilators. We are in the fortunate situation of having access to an extensive inventory, allowing us to increase the number of batteries we produce for use in medical technology. BMZ immediately assembled a team to ramp up production. We’re not leaving anyone behind!”

BMZ said it is working to help fight the Coronavirus internally. Personnel who have recently vacationed in a risk area are required to stay at home as a precaution, even if they are not showing any symptoms. Employees are allowed to bring their children to the office, helping make up for lost childcare options.

─ Thursday, March 19 ─

Nevada Issues Guidelines For Mining, Construction And Manufacturing

The Dept. of Business And Industry, Division Of Industrial Relations and Occupational Safety And Health Administration of the state of Nevada have issued a memorandum of guidelines for the management of staff and labor in the mining, construction, and manufacturing industry sectors. The memorandum supports Gov. Steve Sisolak’s March 18 document titled, “Nevada Health Response COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Initiative.”

As identified by the governor, the implementation of a series of protocols is important to reduce and slow the spread of COVID-19. The following are social distancing protocols and measures that are to be initiated immediately in mining, construction and manufacturing activities:

– Restrict meetings, safety meetings/tailgate talks, and gatherings to no more than 10 people.

– Establish effective social distancing protocols, which ensure that staff maintain a 6 ft. personal separation from other staff during meetings, discussions, etc. where 10 people or less are present.

– Ensure that social distancing protocols are maintained during operation of mobile service equipment designed for two or more passengers including, but not limited to, man lifts, scissors lifts, etc.

– Provide sanitation and cleaning supplies for addressing common surfaces in multiple user mobile equipment and multiple user tooling.

– Maintain 6 ft. separation protocols for labor transportation services, such as buses, vans, etc.

– Conduct daily surveys of changes to staff/labor health conditions.

– Ensure that any identified first responders in the labor force are provided and use the needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and equipment for protection from communicable or infections disease.

– Provide access to potable and sanitary water.

To see the full letter as it appeared in the Nevada Appeal, click here.

─ Thursday, March 19 ─

AED, AEM Urge Government To Keep Construction Projects Going

Earlier today, the Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) delivered letters to national organizations representing mayors, local elected officials and the nation’s governors urging them to allow construction projects to continue while highlighting the equipment industry’s integral role in building and maintaining our nation’s essential infrastructure.

In a letter to the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities, AED was joined by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), delivering the message that “shutting down construction projects in cities and towns not only jeopardizes continued relief and prevention efforts surrounding COVID-19, but will also exacerbate an already dire situation with little safety or health benefit.”

AED delivered a similar letter to the National Governors Association, imploring its members to reconsider halting construction projects across the country. Additionally, AED joined AEM and the Equipment Dealers Association in letters to all 50 governors stressing that equipment manufacturers, suppliers, dealers, and service technicians must be considered essential to economic continuity as governors continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic to protect the health and safety of all workers and residents.

In Washington D.C., AED has been working with business organizations to ensure lawmakers and the administration understand the importance of liquidity and access to capital for the equipment industry. AED joined allied business organizations outlining tax modifications that will help provide liquidity for small- and medium-sized companies.

AED urged its members to pass along the letters to their mayors, city officials and governors with personalized notes telling their story about the impact that shutting down construction projects will have on their company and the importance of recognizing the essential nature of the equipment industry.

To view the letter to the League of Cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, click here.

To view the letter to the National Governors Association, click here.

To view the letters to each governor, click here.

─ Thursday, March 19 ─

 ARA Sees “Dire Time” For Rental

The effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) are significantly impacting the equipment and event rental industry, according to a recent survey of the American Rental Association (ARA) membership that was released today.

Rental revenues are declining and are projected to significantly deteriorate in the coming months, according to the survey. All party and event rental business respondents indicate event cancelations leading to a loss of revenue when compared to 2019, ARA said. Nearly 55% report revenue loss in excess of 60% and 15.63% of respondents experiencing 46% to 60% loss of revenue. Of these cancelations, the majority are corporate, private, festival and charitable events.

The survey results representing construction/industrial and general tool/DIY members indicate a lesser economic impact, albeit concerning. As of March 16, 37% have indicated no revenue loss, 32.92% have experienced up to 15% revenue loss and less than 3% reported loss of more than 60% of rental revenue.

“This is a dire time for our industry,” said Tony Conant, ARA CEO. “We’re putting the needs of our members in the rental community first. ARA and ARA Insurance have put initiatives in place to ease the financial stress on our members as it relates to membership dues and insurance premiums. Our goal is to continue assisting our members and keep them informed on resources that are available to help them manage through these unprecedented times.”

Some rental operations have temporarily closed, but those that remain open indicate that they are taking every precaution to protect employees and customers by implementing recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and extra cleaning and sanitizing of equipment. Many rental operations remain open in order to provide necessary equipment and services for customers that continue work as well as providing tents, tables, chairs and other items needed for drive-through and pickup areas for restaurants, grocery stores, government agencies and more.

ARA said member surveys will be deployed weekly in effort to continually monitor the impact the virus, legislation, regulations and social distancing are having on our industry. All industry employees are encouraged to join the ARA Coronavirus Discussion Group on Facebook to engage in discussion and understand how others are coping during this time.

─ Thursday, March 19 ─

 Two more U.K. events disrupted

Hillhead, Plantworx Postponed

Hillhead Quarry ShowOrganizers have postponed the Hillhead biennial quarrying, construction and recycling event – one of the biggest trade shows in its sector worldwide. Also put back is the U.K.’s Plantworx construction equipment show

In a statement the Hillhead organizers, said, “In light of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, Hillhead 2020 is being postponed by 12 months.”

Hillhead event director Richard Bradbury added, “The health and safety of exhibitors, visitors, contractors and employees is our number one priority and with the peak of the epidemic predicted to coincide with the show in June, this would be severely compromised.

“Following an extensive consultation process, the decision has been taken to delay the event by a year to allow market conditions to stabilize and to best support the construction and quarrying industry during this challenging period.”

Also, following industry consultation, Plantworx – previously scheduled for next year – will be put back a year.

“Whilst we are, of course, reluctant to change our plans for Plantworx 2021, these are unprecedented times,” said Rob Oliver, chief executive of the Construction Equipment Association. “In the interests of both our sets of exhibitors and the industry, we will shortly announce our new dates for the next Plantworx in June 2022 at our Peterborough home.’

Organizers were anticipating approximately 20,000 visitors and 545 exhibitors at Hillhead. More than 60 live demonstrations of equipment were also planned.

In February the show announced that a record-breaking 550 exhibitors had confirmed for the event and, a month, earlier had announced expansion plans at the venue near Buxton, Derbyshire, England.

─ Thursday, March 19 ─

 A Message to NFPA Members About COVID-19

 Eric Lanke, president and CEO of the National Fluid Power Association (NFPA), issued a statement concerning the Coronavirus and how it is affecting NFPA meetings and events.

“With the recent travel bans, event cancellations, and school closings, concerns about Coronavirus are top of mind for everyone. During this time of uncertainty, NFPA and its partners are monitoring developments and taking steps in accordance with CDC recommendations to ensure a safe and healthy environment for members, instructors, students, and other industry guests who plan to participate in upcoming events hosted or supported by NFPA.

“At this time, no federal restrictions are in place to prevent meetings and travel within the United States. As long as this is the case, we are continuing our preparations for our upcoming member events as usual, including the June NFPA/FPIC Regional Conference in Minneapolis and the 2020 Industry & Economic Outlook Conference in August in Oak Brook, Ill.

“However, due to circumstances surrounding some of our partner organizations, such as schools, a number of events organized or supported by NFPA have been affected.”

Among those events affected are a range of Fluid Power Action Challenge events, Workforce Events and Standards meetings.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and keep members informed of event suspensions, cancellations, and other changes,” Lanke  concluded.

A full list of affected events can be seen here.

─ Thursday, March 19 ─

JCB A Possible Virus “Helper”

JCB has been approached by the U.K. government to assess the possible production of ventilators to help treat Coronavirus patients.

The news comes as the company announced it is halting production for the rest of this week and the whole of next week at its nine manufacturing plants in Staffordshire and Derbyshire, England and Wrexham, Wales.

The U.K.’s health secretary called major U.K. companies last week, also including Rolls-Royce, to discuss the possibility of them making medical equipment to help cope with the rise in virus sufferers. The U.K. government is reported to have asked manufacturers, who are able, to “turn their engineering minds and production lines to making them”.

JCB confirmed it has been approached by the U.K. prime minister and said it has research and engineering teams actively looking at the request.

“We have been approached by the prime minister to see if we can help with the production of ventilators,” said JCB Chairman Lord Bamford. “We have research and engineering teams actively looking at the request at the moment. It’s unclear as yet if we can assist, but as a British company, we will do whatever we can to help during the unprecedented times our country is facing.”

 

More shutdowns announced in Europe.

DAF Comes To A Halt

Netherlands-headquartered DAF Trucks has temporarily shut down production at three factories.

In a statement the company said: “Due to the Coronavirus and the decision of governments to close down countries, there is a shortage of parts for the production of trucks. In addition, production workers are concerned about possible Corona contamination at work. For these reasons, DAF Trucks has decided to temporarily shut down production at its sites in Eindhoven (Netherlands), Westerlo (Belgium) and Leyland (England).

“Naturally, customers throughout Europe can continue to count on the service of DAF and its dealers. DAFaid and DAF’s ITS International Truck Service will remain available 24/7 and the supply of parts via PACCAR Parts will also remain guaranteed.”

DAF Trucks N.V. is one of Europe’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturers and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of U.S. commercial vehicle and engine builder Paccar Inc., whose brands also include Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks.

Haulotte Halts French Trio

France’s Haulotte Group, whose products include aerial work platforms, military vehicles and telehandlers, has announced the temporary shutdown of all of its French manufacturing facilities at L’Horme, Creusot and Reims.

The company said that distribution and service activities are operational but added that it is “not in position, to date, to determine the global impact that this health crisis of unprecedented proportions will have on our industrial, commercial and financial performance.”

As well as the French factories the company has other sites in Arges, Romania, Changzhou, China and Archbold, Ohio, in the U.S.

 ─ Wednesday, March 18 ─

Kohler President Addresses Virus In Letter

While Kohler Co. has made no formal announcement of the status of its global manufacturing facilities concerning the Coronavirus, Kohler President and CEO David Kohler posted a letter on LinkedIn to Kohler customers, distributors and vendors. In part, the letter said:

David Kohler
David Kohler

“I want to take this opportunity to connect and assure you that we are continuing to move with speed and fluidity in our aggressive measures to minimize the spread of the virus. At the onset of the outbreak, we assembled a global Incident Management Team (IMT) to understand the best science and implement the best practices in this evolving dynamic situation. We are providing clear centralized guidelines and support while relying on our site leaders to take ownership to drive the proper course of action within their organizations.

“While this is an immense humanitarian challenge for the world, our teams in China and South Korea have shown us that this virus can be contained if disciplined action is implemented swiftly and consistently. This is the spirit and approach in which we are managing all our offices and operations and our associates are working diligently. We are doing everything we can to provide a high level of service, while ensuring the health and safety of our associates, customers and business partners. At present, our global service levels are quite good, but the landscape can shift quickly so we are prepared with business continuity plans for all facilities.”

Kohler has domestic engine and generator manufacturing facilities in Wisconsin and Mississippi, as well as in Reggio Emilia, Italy (engines), Liverpool, England (Clarke Energy), Brest, France (SDMO generators), Chongqing (engines) and Changzhou (generators), China, and Aurangabad, India (engines).

Read the complete letter here.

 ─ Wednesday, March 18, 2:46 p.m. ─

 AVL Large Engine Tech Days Postponed

AVL announced that its Large Engine Tech Days 2020 will be postponed from April of this year to April of 2021.

In a statement, the company noted that “the coronavirus pandemic is profoundly changing the daily life of each and every one of us. As a globally active company constantly aware of its responsibility, AVL recognized the seriousness of the situation and immediately took several measures that are necessary to protect our employees and, of course, our customers and suppliers.

“Due to these far-reaching precautionary measures and the strict regulations of the Austrian Federal Government, the AVL Large Engine Tech Days 2020 scheduled for April this year unfortunately have to be postponed to 2021.”

The final 2021 dates are April 21-22, 2021.

─ Wednesday, March 18, 2:44 p.m. ─

Scania To Stop Production In Europe

Scania said it plans to stop operations at most of its European production units on Wednesday, March 25 due to component shortages and the major disruptions that have occurred in the supplier and logistics chain as a result of the spread of COVID-19 in Europe.

“To ensure our customers’ vitally important transports for society, our service workshops and parts centres will continue their operations,” said Scania’s President and CEO Henrik Henriksson.

At present, Scania expects to resume production within two weeks. Scania staff directly affected by the planned production shutdown are employees at the group’s plants in Sweden, the Netherlands and France. Scania is in close dialogue with the union representatives in order to jointly address the situation.

“The management and employee representatives both highly appreciate the state support measures that are now being made available in the countries where our staff now temporarily will lack work,” said Henriksson.

Scania’s industrial operations in Latin America, which account for about one-fifth of the company’s production volume, will still continue as planned.

─ Wednesday, March 18 ─

 JCB Stops Production

JCB is today stopping production at all of its U.K. manufacturing plants as disruption resulting from the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic causes an unprecedented reduction in global demand.

The company is halting production for the rest of this week and the whole of next week at its nine manufacturing plants in Staffordshire and Derbyshire, England and Wrexham, Wales.

Shop floor employees affected by the move will be paid in full during this period, the company said.  No decision has yet been taken on what happens from the week commencing Monday, March 30th and beyond. Office staff will continue to work a 39-hour week, with many working from home, in support of the Government’s social distancing policy.

JCB CEO Graeme Macdonald said: “These measures are unprecedented in the history of JCB but are absolutely necessary to protect the business. As we continue to deal with the health implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become more challenging to maintain business continuity in this volatile economic climate.

“JCB is a global exporter and worldwide demand for our products has dropped sharply as customers cancel orders and defer deliveries. This is not just a U.K. issue, it is worldwide and with countries like France, Spain and Italy going into lockdown, those key markets for construction equipment disappear overnight.

“In light of this fast-changing situation, we need to re-plan our production and, as a result, manufacturing at all UK factories will cease for the rest of this week and all of next week. This will allow us to take stock of the situation, re-plan our order book, prioritize products that are definitely required by customers, and ensure parts and components are reassigned to support the production of these products.”

JCB’s plant in Pudong, near Shanghai, ceased production last month as the impact of the pandemic initially took hold. After several weeks of disruption, the factory is now fully operational again.

Manitou Closes French Operations Unit March 31

Manitou groupManitou Group issued the following announcement.

In order to limit the expansion of COVID-19 and following the closure announcements received in the morning of March 17 by numerous partners, customers and suppliers, Manitou Group has decided to close its operations in France as from today 1 pm until March 31. This provision concerns all French operations, excluding spare parts, customer support and some central functions.

The group is currently unable to determine the overall impact that this crisis will have on the financial full year.

Cummins Outlines COVID Measures

Cummins has implemented a range of measures regarding the COVID-19 outbreak and said it is monitoring the situation along with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, as well as local, state and federal governments.

The company said it has activated its Global Crisis Response Team to ensure, it said, that it is “taking appropriate measures to protect the health and safety of our employees and customers.”

Companywide measures include:

-Supply Chain teams continuing to host daily meetings and working to mitigate any current and potential impact to its global supply chain, including dual sourcing for critical materials and working with logistics providers to ensure delivery and more.

-Implementing increased “rigorous” hygiene and cleaning procedures at plants, tech centers, branches, logistics centers and offices, including shared technician tools and the devices it uses to service customer equipment.

-Issuing guidelines for customers and suppliers who visit its facilities and asking employees, customers and suppliers to “exercise vigilance and transparency when planning their visit to prevent any unintended exposure to the virus by reviewing a series of screening questions.”

-Implementing a domestic and international air travel restriction and other  region-specific travel restrictions through April 15.

Daimler Measures In Response To COVID-19

Due to the worsening situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Daimler Group decided March 17 to suspend the majority of its production in Europe, as well as work in selected administrative departments, for an initial period of two weeks. By taking this action, the company said it is following the recommendations of international, national and local authorities.

The suspension applies to Daimler’s car, van and commercial vehicle plants in Europe and will start this week. Connected to this is an assessment of global supply chains, which currently cannot be maintained to their full extent. An extension of this measure will depend on further developments. Wherever operations need to be continued, the company will take appropriate precautions to prevent the infection of its employees.

With these closures, Daimler is helping to protect its workforce, to interrupt chains of infection and to contain the spread of the pandemic. At the same time, this will help the company to prepare for a period of temporarily lower demand and to protect its financial strength.

Given the ongoing spread of COVID-19, the economic effects on Daimler cannot be adequately determined or reliably quantified at this time.

Daimler’s management said it is monitoring the situation constantly and will take further measures as required. Full operations will be resumed when the situation improves.

Virus Fears Hit Volvo

The full financial impact of the COVID-19 epidemic is being felt with Volvo revealing that the virus is likely to hit its bottom line.

In a statement it said, “The consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak is affecting the Volvo Group, and there is a considerable risk of a material financial impact on the Group as from mid-March.

“The Volvo Group and its suppliers are continuously working to minimize any consequences for customers and mitigating the impact on the Group.”

For more, click here.

OTC To Be Rescheduled

The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), originally scheduled for May 4-7, has been postponed until fall because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, show organizers said, “The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) recognizes the unprecedented global challenge associated with the current COVID-19 pandemic. The health and safety of our partners, attendees, exhibitors, staff, and community are of the utmost importance, and our hearts go out to all who have been affected.

Considering the rapidly changing guidance from governments and companies, OTC has chosen to postpone the conference from 4–7 May to the third quarter 2020. We are actively working to confirm dates in August or September.”

For more information, click here.

SaMoTer Rescheduled To September

SaMoTer and Asphaltica – the two trade shows at Veronafiere, Italy, dedicated to construction equipment and the bitumen and road infrastructure sector – scheduled in Verona May 16-20 have now been re-scheduled to October 21-25 due to the coronavirus together with ICCX Southern Europe, the precast exhibition-conference.

These events will now be held alongside Oil&nonOil, the energy, fuel and mobility services trade fair scheduled October 21-23.

“The new postponement agreed upon is consequently the result of real time listening to the market and careful assessments,” said Giovanni Mantovani, CEO of Veronafiere. “We took into account the need to ensure safety in health terms and safeguard the important investments planned by companies taking part. This unity of intent with stakeholders once again highlights the sector’s confidence in the capacity of the trade fair system to support it and be a tool for relaunching the sector, even in times of great crisis such as those we are currently experiencing.”

Virus Impacts Marine Certification

COVID-19 has also impacted on the work of the International Marine Certification Institute (IMCI) which certifies watercraft and their components, including engines, to European Union standards.

It said its inspectors and the staff of the IMCI office have today switched to “smart-working-mode” in order to prevent any further spread of this virus adding that this will mean processing will take longer than usual.

The core business of Brussels, Belgium-based IMCI is the CE-certification of watercraft and their components according to the Recreational Craft Directive of the European Union.

In addition, it has other certification programs in this market segment, such as the certification of components according to the standards of the American Boat and Yacht Council and watercraft according the National Marine Manufacturers Association) requirements, both for the U.S. market.

Vibration Symposium Rescheduled

Due to the serious development in connection with COVID-19 and the latest decrees of the Austrian Government, the Vibration Association announced that the Torsional Vibration Symposium will is being rescheduled to May 17-19, 2021.

Those who have already paid the registration fee are automatically registered for the new date in 2021. In case you cannot participate in 2021, participation fee refunds will be provided within the next few months.

The Torsional Vibration Symposium is held in Salzburg, Austria. For more information, click here.

Denso Cuts Visits

Denso said it has put a contingency plan in place to protect its workforce, customers and suppliers in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.

It said that all employees, including Denso’s customer service team, are available and can be contacted on their usual e-mail addresses and phone numbers; however, regretfully, the company said its sales and technical staff are not permitted to undertake customer visits at this time.

A spokesperson said: “With recent World Health Organization and Government announcements, it is clear that the COVID-19 situation is set to have a profound impact on everyday life in the UK and Ireland, as well as across the globe in the short to medium-term at least.

“Whilst we are determined to protect our own staff and mitigate the risk of contracting the virus as much as possible, we have always prioritized customer support at Denso and will continue to do so in these uncertain times.”

The company, which supplies advanced automotive components and technology, said it will release further updates as the situation develops, but, in the meantime, customers can contact the company if they have any questions.

Diesel Progress’ sister KHL publication, International Construction, has published an extensive report on the COVID-19 impacts on the construction industry. The full report can be found here.

Highlights of that report include:

French Contractors Call For 10-Day Halt The French contractors’ association Federation Française du Bâtiment (FFB) has requested a 10-day stop to construction in the country to allow the industry to prepare safety measures for construction workers. Read full story here.

Off-Highway Research Comment On China: “China is slowly returning to normal. Factories are coming back to full production and there is an expectation that travel restrictions will start to ease up soon. The Government is already taking lots of steps to stimulate the economy such as relaxing credit rules and allowing Provincial Governments to issue more bonds.”

Komatsu Sales In China: Komatsu has revealed that sales of excavators (6t class and above) in China fell by 35% year-on-year in January and by 67% in February.

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