Volkswagen Extends Chattanooga Shut Down Until April 5

Volkswagen logo grows apart to promote social distancing 1 photo
Photo: Volkswagen
One after the other, carmakers come to the realization that the initial deadlines they set for plant reopenings across the world were far too optimistic.
Most of them, when initially announcing these measures a week or so ago, were hopeful that by the end of March things would go back to normal. As the coronavirus pandemic keeps getting worse, it becomes obvious those targets can no longer be met, and companies have begun announcing extensions.

Among the first to do so was Ford, who said on Wednesday its facilities on the entire North American continent would remain closed well beyond March 30, and avoided mentioning a new date for reopening. A few hours later, the Germans from Volkswagen did the same.

The VW plant in Chattanooga was initially scheduled to reopen on March 28, after just one week of inactivity. Now, that has been extended to April 5.

“The health and safety of our team remains our highest priority. Volkswagen Chattanooga will remain closed next week, extending the shutdown period which began March 21. We plan to resume production Sunday, April 5 at 10 p.m,” Volkswagen said in a statement.

“We will continue to provide full pay next week for all team members at the factory. Employees who are able to telework, such as office staff, will continue to do so. We’re asking all employees to self-quarantine and maintain social distancing as directed by the CDC.”

The coronavirus pandemic is getting worse by the hour. At the time of this writing, the reported infections counter is fast approaching the half a million threshold, while the number of related deaths jumped over 21,000.

In the past week, the U.S. climbed to the number three spot of most affected countries, right behind China and Italy. America has nearly 70,000 reported infections and over 1,000 deaths. These numbers seem to make the reopening of the economy before Easter, as president Donald Trump plans, close to impossible.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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