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Volkswagen Group has announced that production plants in Spain, Setubal in Portugal and Bratislava in Slovakia will be halted before the end of the week. Along with that factories in Italy for Lamborghini and Ducati motorcycles will also be suspended.

According to CEO Herbert Diess production will be suspended for at least 2 weeks.

Volkswagen is preparing to suspend production across Europe as the continent struggles to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

The German carmaking giant said Tuesday that production at its plants in Spain, Setubal in Portugal and Bratislava in Slovakia will be halted before the end of the week. Factories in Italy that make Lamborghini super cars and Ducati motorcycles will also be idled.

Most of the group's other German and European plants are preparing to suspend production, probably for two weeks, Volkswagen (VLKAF) CEO Herbert Diess told reporters on Tuesday.

"Given the present significant deterioration in the sales situation and the heightened uncertainty regarding parts supplies to our plants, production is to be suspended in the near future at factories operated by group brands," said Diess.

The company said factories producing Volkswagen branded cars would shut down starting late on Thursday. That includes the company's huge plant at Wolfsburg, one of the biggest manufacturing sites in the world.

Volkswagen, which also owns brands including Skoda, Audi, Porsche and Bugatti, delivered 10.8 million vehicles to customers in 2019, more than any other carmaker. Roughly 44% of the group's 668,000 employees live in Germany, where the company is a leading force in the country's huge manufacturing sector.

It's the latest automaker in Europe to close plants as a result of the coronavirus. Fiat Chrysler (FCAU), Peugeot owner PSA Group (PUGOY) and Renault (RNLSY) on Monday announced the closure of 35 manufacturing facilities in total across Europe as regional and national authorities imposed severe restrictions on travel and public life. Together, the three companies sold roughly 12 million cars last year.

Toyota (TM), the world's second biggest carmaker after Volkswagen, said Tuesday it was halting operations at two plants in France and Portugal.


Source: CNN
 

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This really sucks but it makes complete sense. They'd be foolish to let people work there while this virus keeps spreading, especially in Germany.
 

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VW just announced that they're temporarily suspending production in their Chattanooga plant as well.

It's going to be for at least a week, but given how things have been going it could be longer than that.

Statement from Tom du Plessis

Effective Saturday, March 21 at 3:45 a.m., Volkswagen Chattanooga will suspend production for one week, with current plans to resume production Sunday, March 29 at 10 p.m. This action is being taken to help ensure the health and safety of our team members as we conduct additional sanitation and cleaning procedures throughout the factory. We will also use this time to assess future production plans and market developments.

Volkswagen will offer full pay during this production shutdown period for all team members at the factory. Employees who are able to telework, such as office staff, will do so. We’re asking all employees to self-quarantine and maintain social distancing as directed by the CDC. We will continue to monitor the situation and will take any and all additional steps as they become necessary, communicating updates as they are available.

The health and safety of our team remains our highest priority. In recent weeks we have taken the following precautionary steps:
  • Implementing heightened sanitization and cleaning procedures throughout the factory as well as on our transportation shuttles
  • Installing sanitation areas in high-traffic zones of the plant
  • Provided all production, maintenance and production support staff with paid time off March 16 to plan and assess childcare needs in response to school closures
  • Postponing all events at the Volkswagen Academy and Conference Center
  • Implementing social distancing procedures in business-critical trainings, and postponing all non-critical training and classroom activities
  • Closing general access to our onsite fitness center, and postponing all volunteer exercise classes
  • Keeping doors open as much as possible to limit contact
  • Limiting visitors to business-critical, and conducting safety screening questionnaires
  • Prohibiting all business-related travel, domestic and international
  • Sharing healthy best practices from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) via internal communications channels
  • Providing daily updates to all employees regarding our activities
 

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Has VW announced whether or not they're reopening the Chattanooga plant? I'd be very surprised if they did.
 
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