Fiat, Toyota, Renault latest to announce auto production halt in Brazil over coronavirus

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SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler FCAU.N, Toyota Motor Corp 7203.T and Renault RENA.PA announced on Friday they will stop auto production in Brazil temporarily due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this week, General Motors Co GM.N and Mercedes Benz said they would also stop production. Volkswagen VOWG.DE and Volvo VOLVb.ST have also announced at least temporary production halts in Brazil.

The closures in Brazil have come shortly after automakers in the United States and the European Union announced similar measures.

Stephanie Brinley from IHS Markit said they are currently expecting auto production in South America to fall by about 98,000 units in March and April.

“I’m pretty sure that by Monday noon that number will be revised,” Brinley said. “It’s a very fluid situation.

Brazil is by far the continent’s largest auto producer, but Argentina also has a sizable output.

Reporting by Alberto Alerigi and Marcelo Rochabrun; editing by Nick Macfie and Bill Berkrot