Chattanooga Plant to Reopen on May 3, Says VW

Volkswagen plans to slowly resume production at its Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant as of May 3. The gradual return to production will include health measures designed to try and minimize the risk of infection.

The return to work will happen in phases, with early phases including up to 90 new measures, like the cessation of shuttle transportation, increasing the frequency of disinfection, and providing its staff with masks and gloves in an effort to reduce the risk of virus transmission.

“We’ve dedicated the past several weeks to implementing stringent health and safety measures,” said Tom du Plessis, president and CEO of Volkswagen Chattanooga. “After assessing the current situation, we’ve decided to resume production under clear safety measures and with the health of our employees as our highest priority.”

Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant will have been out of operation for six weeks when production resumes and follows the return to work of the company’s European factories.

Although its decision to restart production will align with lifted restrictions in Tennessee, the CDC still warns that the second wave of COVID-19, expected to arrive next winter, could be more devastating than the current wave has been.

Although Volkswagen says it suspended production at its Chattanooga plant before the state required it, Volkswagen’s plant in Puebla shut down much later and an employee there may have died from COVID-19.

Volkswagen will be eager to resume production, though, as costs mount and sales plummet in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.