Shacman pulls through

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Shacman pulls through

Friday, March 06, 2020

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SHACMAN Jamaica, local suppliers of Chinese-made Shacman heavy equipment, said the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak caused some of their manufacturers to temporarily close operations in that country. However, it did not affect local business.

“We are very fortunate that we had a lot of trucks in stock and we had a lot of trucks on the water, 34 of which arrived yesterday (Tuesday). Therefore, with regards to supplying trucks to customers, we don't have an issue. But the long and short of it, yes, it affected Shacman,” John Ralston, managing director of Tank-Weld Equipment, told the Jamaica Observer's Auto magazine.

According to the managing director, production for the large F3000 had halted.

“The factory stopped production for 10 days for the Chinese New Year, and they did not restart until up to recently. They are up to about 95 per cent production at this particular time. So they're pretty much back to normal,” he said.

“They have a medium-sized duty truck, that factory is not back into production yet. But they are making efforts to restart it,” he continued.

China's vehicle sales had the biggest monthly plunge on record as the coronavirus kept shoppers away, intensifying the pressure on automakers already battling an unprecedented slump before the outbreak.

Sales fell 80 per cent in February, according to preliminary numbers from the China Passenger Car Association released Wednesday.

The outbreak has paralysed the industry just as it was looking to gradually halt a two-year decline, with manufacturers now left with little visibility into when sales might recover.

Ralston was optimistic of China bringing the virus under control.

“The numbers seem to be going down in China, but going up everywhere else in the world. So the problem may not be in China very long. It may be everywhere else, except for China,” he said.

“I'm hoping they get a handle on this quickly... They're back up and taking every single precaution. I can only have faith and hope they have a handle on the virus,” he continued.

Nearly 97,000 people in 81 countries have been infected with the virus and more than 3,300 people have died. There have been 11 deaths in the United States -- 10 in Washington state and one in California.

— Brian Bonitto


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