To the Global Auria Team:
In a series of companywide COVID-19 updates that began in late January, I outlined the numerous steps we’ve taken in accordance with guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO), US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other public health authorities to reduce employees’ exposure risks while also maintaining our ability to continue supporting our customers.
As you all know, this pandemic is unprecedented in our time. It has strained every company’s best laid plans for business continuity and disaster recovery, and its impact has been far-reaching across nearly every aspect of our lives. The situation is fluid, and as such, we have been doing our best to stay on top of it. To that end, we have formed a global taskforce comprising leadership from every discipline in the organization.
Since early March the taskforce has been monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on our employees, customers, vendors, and operations, and reports out daily to me with updates and actions taken to run our business and protect our employees in every region and at every Auria location. Through this process, we have been able to closely monitor and evaluate the status of our business and take immediate corrective actions as needed in response to a plethora of outside forces including government mandates, customer and supplier actions, WHO and CDC guidelines, among others. To date, our taskforce has excelled in their ability to anticipate, prepare and respond with appropriate actions needed to run our business. We are prepared to run our business in this manner for as long as is required to get through this crisis and return to business as usual.
In Europe, we continue flexing manufacturing at our different Auria plants in response to changing customer orders and/or customer plant shutdowns. We continue to work with those customers daily to support their needs with the understanding that each customer is taking a slightly different course of action in response to the pandemic. In North America, we were recently notified that General Motors, Ford, FCA, Honda, Nissan and Toyota are planning temporary plant shutdowns across the region. Many of these shutdowns will be staggered over the next couple weeks, which will require a well-coordinated plan in response.
Overall, I remain optimistic. Our China operations were the first to be hit by the COVID-19 outbreak, shutting down virtually the entire country for the better part of February. But I’m pleased to say that China operations are ramping back up, including our Tianjin plant which is back up to 95% of capacity. Even our Wuhan plant – which was at the epicenter of the outbreak – is operating above 50% capacity and the latest updates indicate no new cases of COVID-19 reported in the Hubei Province where Wuhan is located. I am hopeful we will soon see the same recovery in Europe followed by North America, though it may take a little longer.
Finally, I want to convey a message from our parent organization, Shenda, with whom I am in daily contact as we work through this crisis. Since early January, they have experienced the same difficulties we are now facing, and they fully appreciate how challenging it is to navigate these uncharted waters during this unprecedented global pandemic. Now more than ever before, Shenda continues to express their unwavering commitment to Auria’s long-term business success.
This crisis will end and Auria will come through it intact on the other side. We appreciate Shenda’s support, but it will not be Shenda who leads us through these next weeks and months. It can only be the talented, experienced people of Auria who know best how to run our business. That’s what our ownership expects of us and what we should expect of ourselves.
I thank you for your patience and dedication to date. From plant floors to administrative offices, the efforts of Auria employees to keep areas sanitized and observe social distancing have been impressive. Please remain vigilant in these practices and in your general awareness of steps you can take to reduce risk. The health and well being of Auria employees, their families and our communities is paramount to our future growth and success.
I must ask for continued cooperation and understanding in the days and weeks ahead, because some bigger challenges still lie ahead of us. Based on how we have risen to the challenge so far, I am confident we will endure, recover and thrive when this crisis is behind us.
President and CEO