"There will be a loss of business due to the temporary closure of operations.
"Although the short-term impact to business is a major concern, we must take all precautionary measures before the current situation gets worse,” he told The New Straits Times (NST) today.
Madani said many companies have utilised readily available technologies to keep their operations going, particularly within the automotive services sectors.
“Technologies such virtual showrooms, online catalogues, e-learning, cloud conferencing and many more are readily available for companies to utilise.
“Most importantly, the urgency of work from home arrangements also provide an opportunity to incorporate technology utilisation culture among management and employees,” he added.
He said it was imperative for the automotive sector to focus on the positives and develop new frameworks while planing for the growth of their businesses once the situation has improved.
Most auto players have began temporarily halting their operations in the country in a collective aim to contain the lethal spread of the Covid-19.
Sime Darby Bhd’s 51 per cent-owned Inokom Corporation Sdn Bhd has temporarily halted its assembly operations in Kulim, Kedah effective today until March 31, 2020, in line with the edict of the government for a MCO.
The assembler said the move was applicable to all private premises, except those involved in essential services, be closed to curb the spread of Covid-19 in communities.
“Management and staff will continue to work remotely to seek out new projects and explore further efficiencies within current operations.
“As a responsible corporate entity, we are committed to implementing all measures deemed necessary for the continued health and safety of our employees, partners and the larger community,” Sime Darby spokesperson told NST today.
Currently, Inokom assembles the Hyundai Elantra, Santa Fe, Tucson and Ioniq; Inokom Lorimas and Inokom HD 500, BMW 3 Series, 5 Series, 6 Series, 7 Series, X1, X3, X4, X5 and MINI, and Mazda CX5.
Proton Holdings Bhd (Proton) will temporarily cease its sales and after-sales as well as production activities at the Tanjung Malim and Shah Alam plants effective today until March 31, 2020.
“Rest-assured we will resume all operations as soon as clearance is given by the government. During this trying time, we feel these necessary precautions are profoundly crucial, as safeguarding the health and security of Malaysia and its people remains as Proton’s top priority,” it said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) has also suspended all operations at its head office, manufacturing facilities, sales and service centres as well as body and paint outlets nationwide from today until March 31, 2020.
The top-selling carmaker said the suspension was subjected to any new announcement by the government from time to time.
“New vehicle deliveries, servicing and body and paint services are expected to resume only after the movement control order is lifted,” it said.
Perodua said its related outlet personnel may contact customers during the period to provide explanation and clarification.
UMW Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd had announced that all authorised Toyota and Lexus daters will temporarily cases its operations beginning today until March 31, 2020.
However, it company said its dealers remain contactable to all customers during MCO.
President Ravindran K said the the company will continue to be available to customers for any assistance require with regards to their Toyota and Lexus vehicles.
Its manufacturing operations will also be suspended today onwards. However, it said there was no specific manufacturing suspension outside Malaysia.
The company said has also decided to cancel its fourth and final round of Season 2, Toyota Gazo Racing Festival and Toyota Vios Challenge Championship scheduled on April 18- 19, 2020 at the Sepang International Circuit.
“We are closely monitoring the situation and for the protection and safety of our staff and customers kept in mind, we will consider and make decisions guided by the direction from the government,” said UMW Toyota deputy chairman Akio Takeyama.
Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd has also taken the same measure to close its business operations temporarily beginning today until March 31.
The Japanese carmaker said the business operations involved comprise Honda Malaysia’s plant in Pegoh, Melaka, sales office and dealerships nationwide.
“We will resume business operations tentatively on April 1, 2020. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and update accordingly,” it said in a statement.
Kenanga Research said there is still a possibility that the growth curve will continue to accelerate unless stricter social distancing policy is implemented to thwart the virus.
“A nationwide movement restriction to contain the outbreak will adversely impact the economy on short-term but would be limited as there is an exception for important government and business services to run as usual and the restriction will last for two weeks,” it said in a research report today.
The research firm said the full impact would depend on how fast the virus spread and the period taken to combat the outbreak should there be an extension in movement restriction.
It said the base forecast for gross domestic product growth to moderate by 2.3 per cent in the first-half (1H) of this year due to the expectation of weaker growth in the services sector.
“The virus will impact the transportation and tourism related industry the most. Similarly, the manufacturing sector will slowdown due to factory closure , weak external demand from the key trading partner. On the demand side, we expect private consumption to ease 5.7 per cent in 1H of 2020.”
Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia Sdn Bhd said it will temporarily closing all authorised dealerships and service centres from today until March 31, 2020.