VW to Shut Down European Production in Response to Coronavirus

Production at VW Group plants in Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Slovakia are shutting down this week. The group is also planning to suspend production at most of the rest of its plants across Europe, all as a response to coronavirus, reports Automotive News.

“Given the present significant deterioration in the sales situation and the heightened uncertainty regarding parts supplies to our plants, production is to be suspended in the near future at factories operated by group brands,” said Herbert Diess, VW Group CEO.

The VW Group’s union has also concluded that it is not possible for employees at the plants to maintain a safe distance from one another to prevent spreading the virus. It, therefore, also recommended suspending production.

The plants will likely shut down for two weeks and individual brands will communicate the details of the shutdowns presently.

As a result of the shutdowns and the difficulty in predicting its impact, VW says it is impossible to give a forecast for its performance this year.

According to Diess, “2020 will be a very difficult year. The corona pandemic presents us with unknown operational and financial challenges. At the same time, there are concerns about sustained economic impacts.”