As extended lockdowns in two of China’s most important carmaking bases show no sign of abating soon, the automobile supply chain in the world’s biggest market will remain disrupted, at least in the short term, according to analysts. In Changchun, the capital city of northeastern Jilin province, China’s oldest carmaker, has cut production at some factories since March 13 with no resumption date, as the whole province has been effectively sealed off since March 14. The restricted capacity accounts for 46 per cent of the state-owned FAW Group’s total capacity, according to a note by Citic Securities on Thursday. “The impact in Jilin province is that production has stopped in most plants, some operating under a bubble regime with low capacity,” said Harald Kumpfert, head of the European Chamber of Commerce in Shenyang. “There are no known negotiations with the government about opening again. Everyone is waiting for orders from Beijing,” he said. In Shanghai, home to another state-owned carmaker, SAIC Motor, as well as Tesla’s China Gigafactory , the citywide lockdown has been extended indefinitely amid rising daily infections, and some key assembly lines have halted production. Production disruptions in the two cities will weigh on China’s auto supply in the short term, analysts said, as Shanghai and Changchun respectively produced 2.83 million and 2.42 million units in 2021, accounting for 10.9 per cent and 9.3 per cent of China’s total output last year, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. “If your factory is in the … lockdown areas, certainly you will be impacted. Because what happens is you can’t [sustain] the same level of production that you used to,” said How Jit Lim, a managing director with consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal Asia. But as the auto supply chain as a whole is spread out across China, the temporary closures of factories in two major cities may not result in severe disruptions at the national level, Lim said. “Yes, there is an impact. But I think if you look across the total market capacity … it’s not going to bring the entire supply chain of automobile sector to a halt,” Lim said. Tesla shuts Shanghai Gigafactory 3 for two days to screen workers The main constraints holding back the resumption of production come on the logistics side, given that assembly-line crews can work in a “closed-loop” system that strictly restricts their movement within the factory area, according to Citic Securities. “The main pressure comes from the logistics side, as it is difficult to transport parts and other materials across provinces. So, as long as the logistical issue are alleviated, production is expected to resume quickly,” it said in a research note on Thursday. Amid the latest Omicron outbreak, Beijing has doubled down on its “ dynamic zero-Covid policy ”, which puts trust in local authorities to stamp out clusters with lockdowns and restrictions on interregional travel. The hardline policy is weighing on road freight, which accounted for 73.8 per cent of China’s overall freight volume in 2020, according to Ministry of Transport data. The road vehicle freight flow index, which gauges the number of trucks running in a specific region, was 16.45 and 14.38 for Shanghai and Jilin on Thursday, respectively dropping by 81.94 per cent and 86.36 per cent year on year, according to Wind, a financial data provider in China. As the world’s biggest auto market, China has attracted all major carmakers from around the world to set up assembly lines or joint ventures in the country, all keen to capitalise on China’s huge domestic demand. But lockdowns in various cities have also weighed on auto demand in the country. According to data from the China Passenger Car Association, the daily average retail sales of passenger cars was 39,146 units for the week of March 21-27, down 29 per cent compared with the same period last year. “Considering the trend of the current wave of outbreaks, we estimated that the sales loss caused by the pandemic in April will be about 300,000 units,” CITIC’s note said.