After several weeks of shutdown, motorcycle manufacturers around the world are getting ready to build motorcycles again.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in factories being shut down in almost every country. China’s production for the in-country market was first, then Italy, then Austria and Germany, then the US and India. It seems the Japanese factories have continued production, as well as some of their subsidiaries in southeast Asia, and Taiwan (which have close ties to the Japanese manufacturers). But for the most part, the world has stopped building bikes.
That’s starting to change. In the past few days, there have been announcements from Asia and Europe indicating plans to get restart production. In Italy, Piaggio Group, MV Agusta and Ducati have all said they’re getting back to work; Ducati already has some employees in the plant, as does MV Agusta, and Piaggio Group employees (Aprilia, Piaggio, Vespa, Moto Guzzi) are due to return next week, if all goes to plan.
BMW’s German production is supposedly re-starting soon as well, although its press release was a little vague on the specific details of the Motorrad division.
Over in Asia, the shut-down Yamaha and Honda subsidiaries in India are hoping to return to work as well, although we still haven’t seen details on some of the country’s other giant OEMs.
No matter which country you’re looking at, the basic rules are all the same: factories are required to enforce physical distancing between employees, and to use disinfectant and other measures to keep germs to a minimum. No doubt this will somewhat hinder production, but the employees will find a way to make things work.