With coronavirus impacting the Italy, one big question is: What will happen to the country’s motorcycle production, as quarantine measures and other actions are taken to slow the spread of the sickness?
With Ducati, Moto Guzzi, Aprilia, Piaggio, Vespa, SWM, Beta, MV Agusta and other smaller local manufacturers all building bikes and scooters within the country, as well as a satellite Honda plant and significant Yamaha presence (no factory, but considerable other infrastructure) and a Benelli quality control plant, there’s no surprise manufacturers are considering their options. However, for now, the Italian press says the factories – at least the larger ones – are still building bikes.
Moto.it has a fairly decent run-down of most of the country’s manufacturers, and says so far none have stopped production, although they’re all making sure employees are ramping up COVID-19 protection measures. The factories are all stressing things like hand-washing, and in some cases are handing out antibacterial hand sanitizer and the like. Omnimoto says Ducati’s emphasizing remote meetings and telecommuting, which seems smart.
Also, most plants are either ending their factory tour programs, or in the case of the Piaggio Group (Vespa, Piaggio, Moto Guzzi, Aprilia) and Ducati, also ending their museum tours.
Moto.it says Aprilia’s facilities in Noale are close to one of the COVID-19 outbreak clusters, so keep an eye on that situation for possible changes. However, although much of Italy is apprehensive about the situation and people are staying indoors, that sort of thing, it’s hardly as if the whole country is shut down. For now, COVID-19 is far from widespread in Italy.