UNIDO supports the Colombian automotive industry in restarting production following the COVID-19 lockdown

On 24 March 2020, the Colombian Government ordered the temporary closure of non-essential companies, which included also many automotive parts manufacturers, due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. In order to support these firms to re-start operations, UNIDO, through the project “Sustainable and inclusive industrial development of the automotive supply chain in Colombia through enhanced quality and productivity”, joined discussions with the government and key industry associations, and volunteered to develop guidelines for the industry to restart production. These guidelines shall ensure that in seeking business continuity, firms apply all possible measures to prevent contagion and protect the health of workers and customers. Topics included are hygiene and safety at workplace, quality assurance in times of reduced operations or working capital calculations for restarting production, and others. This tool is one of the first of its kind in Colombia and is being used as a reference for other industries. To date, more than 500 people have been trained on the various chapters of the guidelines. Following the re-opening of firms, UNIDO will also offer technical assistance for their implementation at factory level.

With a view of addressing urgent medical needs, a list of available capacities of the automotive industry (including 3D printing) is being updated for further use in the production of needed medical devices. So far, the contacts of more than 35 firms from the auto industry were shared with government entities and specific initiatives. To date, 6 project beneficiary companies already started production of face shields (one of them already reached a volume of 2000 pieces a day), and 6 firms produce masks.

The project is a collaboration between UNIDO, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism of Colombia (MINCIT), and “Colombia Productiva” Initiative. 

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Fabio Russo (F.Russo [at] unido.org)

Mr. Juan Pablo Diaz Castillo (J.Diaz-Castillo [at] unido.org)

Mr. Stefan Kratzsch (S.Kratzsch [at] unido.org)