Coronavirus Still a ‘Thing’ for Volkswagen As Mexican Facilities Remain Shuttered

The novel coronavirus is still causing headaches, including for automakers attempting to return to full-scale production.

For Volkswagen, it means the plants supplying U.S. dealers with strong-selling models will remain offline for a while longer, complicating the return to normalcy.

Miguel Barbosa, governor of the Mexican state of Puebla, capped off last week by issuing a decree banning the restart of the automotive manufacturing industry, among others. Claiming he would no reopen the respective industries at the expense of public safety, Barbosa’s order leaves Volkswagen’s important Puebla assembly plant offline for a while longer.

From there, North America receives its Tiguan and Jetta models, while an Audi facility cranks out the popular Q5 crossover and its hotter Q5S sibling. Hardly niche models.

In the U.S., VW of America restarted its Chattanooga facility in mid-May, returning the Passat, Atlas, and Atlas Cross Sport to production, while the automaker’s German factories started coming back online in late April.

Much of Mexico’s car-building might return at the beginning of June (earlier, in some cases) after the country’s leadership declared the industry an essential sector. Puebla’s decree overrides this, however. In the case of VW, the automaker had hoped to bring its Puebla facilities back online by June 15th, which clearly did not happen.

As reported by Deutsche Welle, Mexico has reported roughly 16,000 deaths from COVID-19, though the actual figure is believed to be much higher.

a version of this article first appeared on TTAC