Volkswagen Extends Shutdown of German Plants—Again
In response to the persistence of the Covid-19 pandemic in the region, Volkswagen has extended the suspension of all of its German plants for five more working days, until April 19. This is the second time that the German car maker has extended its shutdown, as the company said in an earlier statement that it wanted to end short-time working with the night shift of April 9 to 10. Those affected are the production in Dresden, Emden, Osnabrück, Wolfsburg and Zwickau as well as the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles plant in Hanover, the plants of Volkswagen Group Components at Brunswick, Kassel, Salzgitter, Chemnitz and Hanover and the German plants of SITECH. The company added that it is currently preparing to resume production, with plans to put into place a comprehensive package of health protection for its employees. “The health of our employees has the highest priority,” said Andreas Tostmann, Member of the Volkswagen brand Board of Management responsible for Production and Logistics. “We will ensure that they can return to safe workplaces when production and logistics activities are resumed. In our task force, we are working on a comprehensive package of measures.” “In this context, we are also incorporating our experience in China where almost all our plants have now resumed production and the market seems to be gradually returning to normal. To date, there has not been a single case of corona among our employees in China,” Tostmann added. Earlier, VW announced that the factories were expected to remain closed for two weeks beginning March 19, with plans for production resumption after the first week of April. However, the company gave no assurances, and warned that they may extend the shutdown as necessary. Aside from preventing the coronavirus from spreading in its workplace, the Volkswagen shutdown is also a response to the decrease in demand on the automobile market and the challenges faced by the supply chain. On the local front, AC Motors, official distributor of Volkswagen cars in the country, announced the closing of its Volkswagen dealerships until further notice in line with the government’s enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) implementation covering the entire Luzon. “We look forward to being of service to our countrymen as soon as we are able to reopen our dealerships,” the AC Motors announcement said.