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Volkswagen Resumes Manufacturing In Europe After Coronavirus Shutdown

Volkswagen Resumes Manufacturing In Europe After Coronavirus Shutdown

Volkswagen AG (OTC: VLKAF) said on Wednesday it would restart production at its European sites from next week.

What Happened

In a statement released on Wednesday, VW said it plans to reopen its Zwickau plant in eastern Germany, as well as the facility in Bratislava, Slovakia, on April 20. The automaker will bring their other plants in Germany, Portugal, Spain, the United States, and Russia online from April 27. Production will resume in May at facilities located in South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.

Ralf Brandstätter, COO of VW, noted that decisions of federal and state governments in Germany and other European states have led to conditions that allow for “the gradual resumption of production.”

The restart of manufacturing depends on the availability of parts, government requirements in Germany and Europe, the development of sales markets, and the resulting modes of operation at the plants.

Andreas Tostmann, a board member of VW, said production and logistics were being resumed using a “staged approach in a well-organized way.” Tostmann assured, “We are providing safe workplaces and the maximum possible level of health protection with a 100-point plan.”

Why It Matters

VW is the world’s largest carmaker and owns brands such as Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, and Porsche.

After the suspension of work at VW’s German factories last month, nearly 80,000 employees were placed on short-time work. This allowed the automotive giant to keep paying workings using government aid. The company now plans to remove workers from short-time work gradually at its German plants.

In a statement, VW disclosed it had instituted nearly 100 measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at its plants. As of April 6, production had commenced at VW’s Brunswick and Kassel plants, and from April 4 at Salzgitter, Chemnitz and Hanover in Germany, as well as the Polish plants.

Thirty-two of the automaker's 33 plants are now operational, and VW has been drawing from experience in China in reopening its facilities. No cases of COVID-19 have been reported from VW’s Chinese operations.

Price Action

Volkswagen OTC shares closed 4.11% lower at $140 on Wednesday. 


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