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Dr Lizardo2/07/2020 2:56:40 am PST

The Wuhan Coronavirus might end up producing a truly worldwide economic ripple effect.

The threat from the coronavirus crisis closed in on the global auto industry on Thursday, as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV warned that a European plant could shut down within two to four weeks if Chinese parts suppliers cannot get back to work.

The next several weeks will be critical for automakers. Parts made in China are used in millions of vehicles assembled elsewhere, and China’s Hubei province, epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, is a major hub for vehicle parts production and shipments.

As the article notes, automakers had done a bit of stockpiling in anticipation of Chinese New Year, but those stockpiles are going to be running out pretty soon - and with so much of the global economy heavily dependent on just-in-time supply chains and logistics, yeah, if this outbreak continues, or gets worse, heaven forbid (which could essentially vastly reduce China’s manufacturing capacity for a prolonged period), then this could very well be one of those Black Swan events that economists love to speculate about.