Owner of Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Ducati, Lamborghini, Porsche, Seat and Skoda brands, Volkswagen suspends production across the factories in Europe as the coronavirus pandemic hits sales and disrupts supply chains.
The Chief Executive Herbert Diess said, “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.”
According to Volkswagen’s powerful work council, it was impossible for workers to maintain safe distance from each other. Hence, to prevent the spread of the pandemic, the officials have recommended a suspension of production at its factories from Friday.
Diess also mentions, “Production will be halted at VW’s Spanish plants, in Setubal in Portugal, Bratislava in Slovakia and at the Lamborghini and Ducati plants in Italy before the end of this week”
It is said that most of its German and European factories are preparing for suspending the production for almost two to three weeks. While, Audi announced that it will stop the output at its plants in Belgium, Germany, Hungary and Mexico.
However, VW said that the suspension of production in its vast factory in Puebla, Mexico, and plants in Brazil and the United States would depend on how the coronavirus spreads. Currently, there are 124 production sites of VW worldwide of which 72 are in Europe, with 28 in Germany alone.
“2020 will be a very difficult year. The coronavirus pandemic presents us with unknown operational and financial challenges. At the same time, there are concerns about sustained economic impacts,” Diess added.
Another Chief Financial Officer, Frank Witter said that the spread of coronavirus is currently impacting the global economy and they are not certain how long this will also affect the Volkswagen Group.