Volkswagen Plans to Start Reopening Plants Around the World

Production at Volkswagen’s plant around the world is set to start rolling again, as the Group announced today that work would resume at its plants in Zwickau and Bratislava.

Those plants are set to start production again on the week of April 20 and will be followed by the Group’s plants in Germany, Portugal, Spain, Russia, and the USA, which are to restart production on the week of April 27. May will see plants in South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico reopen.

The decision follows relaxing social isolation requirements around Europe, according to Volkswagen brand CEO Ralf Branstätter.

“Conditions have been established for the gradual resumption of production,” said Brandstätter, in a statement. “In addition to developing a comprehensive catalog of measures for the protection of our employees’ health, we have also forged ahead with the re-establishment of our supply chains.”

The plants will start with short-time work and as supply chains reestablish, full production will resume.

“We have never experienced a situation like this before. However, I know that our colleagues are fantastically well-motivated to start work again,” said Bernd Osterloh, chairman of the Works Council. “In the light of the pandemic, we need to adapt our routines. One answer is our new agreement on health protection.”

To satisfy the works council, Volkswagen is putting in place a 100-point plan to try to keep workers safe as production resumes.

“We are keeping the risk of infection at Volkswagen as low as possible,” said Osterloh. “But we need to be realistic: at the beginning, the new procedures will give rise to queries and reservations on the part of our colleagues. We have never developed, produced and sold vehicles under these conditions before. This is why I expect our managers to ensure that employees are thoroughly familiar with the new procedures.”

Volkswagen will draw on the experience it gained in reopening its plants in China recently.