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Volkswagen Plants in Europe Shut Down for at Least Two Weeks

Just as rumored ever since the early hours of Tuesday, March 17, German carmaker Volkswagen announced it is shutting down most of its production facilities across the European continent to curb the spread of coronavirus.
VW's message to its employees 1 photo
Photo: Volkswagen
For now, the announcement pertains only to Volkswagen's own plants, but it is to be expected that the other brands in the group will do the same in the near future. The initial plan is to have a production freeze of two weeks, but that period is likely to increase if there's need to do so.

“The spread of coronavirus in Europe is increasingly having an adverse impact on the demand situation. At the same time, it is becoming increasingly difficult to supply our plants with outsourced parts,” said in a statement Ralf Brandstätter, Chief Operation Officer of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars.

“For this reason, we have decided to run production down in a coordinated way from the end of the late shift on Thursday. We are convinced that this will also be in the interests of our employees who are becoming increasingly concerned about the spread of corona.”

In addition to closing production facilities, Volkswagen also announced services in the company's canteens, self-service shops, cafeterias, bistros, restaurants and catering services will be suspended. For the foreseeable future, all meetings will be held online, and employees returning from abroad are asked to avoid entering Volkswagen's building for at least two weeks.

The Germans are not the first to announce such measures. Since the beginning of the week, plants operated by Ferrari, PSA and Ford were closed across the continent. Similar measures are expected to be announced by others as well.

Europe is presently at the center of the coronavirus epidemics that at the time of this writing is confirmed to have infected nearly 200,000 people and killed nearly 8,000 across the world.
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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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