Coronavirus: VW announces plans to shut down European factories
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It's no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic is set to wreak havoc upon the world's economy, and automotive manufacturers are already taking precautions to prevent the virus' spread.
Late last week, exotic Italian brands Ferrari and Lamborghini revealed that both factories had been shut down, and now Volkswagen is doing the same thing, although it has a few more factories to worry about.
The German brand revealed that plants in Spain, Portugal, Slovakia, and Italy will be grinding to a halt "before the end of the week." Other plants around Europe have been given orders to close down "in the coming weeks."
These seemingly drastic measures are being put in place for the safety and welfare of the workers, VW says, as "work is carried out shoulder to shoulder on the assembly lines."
Office workers at the German brand have already been instructed to work from home, which is the same for most automakers around the world in general. This is the first that we've heard from the actual production plants.
"The corona pandemic presents us with unknown operational and financial challenges," said Herbert Diess, CEO VW Group. "We will succeed in overcoming the corona crisis by pooling our strengths and with close cooperation and high morale in our Group."
Interestingly, VW production in China has since resumed following a short break, as the virus is reportedly under control over there.
US automotive manufacturers such as Ford and General Motors are carrying on with business as usual for now, but it's very likely that this stance is going to change in the near future.