Wuhan in China is a significant hub for vehicle and component manufacturing. Little wonder then that when Wuhan became the epicenter of coronavirus epidemic - later deemed a pandemic by World Health Organisation, the automotive industry here was delivered a crippling blow. Wuhan and the entire province was put in a lock down mode by the Chinese government which has had a deep impact on not just the lives of people here but also the industries. Now, several months on, life is slowly but surely returning to normal.
The signs that the automotive industry in Wuhan may be taking its first steps towards normalcy came when 1,000 employees of Dongfeng Honda Auto returned here. China's state-run Global Times reported that the employees arrived at Hankou Railway Station and were ferried to Wuhan Development Zone in 30 buses that were waiting for them.
While it is still not clear when the employees will actually resume work, their return augers well for the auto industry here, the global automotive industry, China and the world. Wuhan falls in Hubei Province and this here was the worst affected from coronavirus. It is also where vehicle and component manufacturing - for both the domestic market and for exports - was majorly hit. Chinese media states that there are seven major vehicle manufacturing facilities here and another 500 automotive component-related companies.
With positive cases steadily coming down, however, there are indications that life may be returning to normal. Last week, over 200 automotive suppliers were reportedly allowed to resume work.