VAfter a production break of five weeks, olkswagen starts up its plants again next week. The beginning of next Monday will be the VW plants in the Slovakian capital Bratislava and in Saxon Zwickau, the company announced on Wednesday in Wolfsburg. In Zwickau, the VW brand builds its first pure electric model, the ID 3.
The electric car, which has been announced with great effort, is to be delivered to European customers from summer onwards and is the core of VW CEO Herbert Diess’ strategy for the turn to electromobility. The restart of production in the other German VW plants and in Spain, Portugal, Russia and the United States will also begin in the week of April 27. The factories in South America and South Africa are to follow successively over the course of May.
The manager Ralf Brandstätter, responsible for the VW brand for the operative business, said on Wednesday evening that with the decisions of the federal and state governments and with the relaxation of measures to combat the corona virus in other European countries, “the framework has been created, the production again to be able to record gradually “. This also means that car dealerships will be open to customers again next week. Volkswagen has been preparing intensively for the restart in the past three weeks, it said in Wolfsburg.
“A standard in industry”
“In addition to developing a comprehensive catalog of measures to protect the health of the workforce, we also pushed ahead with the reconstruction of our supply chains,” said Brandstätter. The falling demand and growing problems with the supply of components had, in addition to the state requirements for protection against Corona, led to the fact that CEO Diess announced the production stop in Volkswagen’s European plants in mid-March.
The start of production takes place in accordance with the current availability of parts, the state requirements and the development in the sales markets, according to the VW announcement. The board member responsible for production at the VW brand, Andreas Tostmann, said that the health of employees is a priority when starting up production. VW wants to keep the risk of infection as low as possible with around 100 health protection measures. This ranges from wearing a mask to safety distances and hygiene rules, right up to being asked to regularly measure your body temperature. Works council chief Bernd Osterloh said that VW was “setting a standard in industry”.
An important start
In doing so, VW also draws on its experience in China, where production is resumed in 32 of the 33 plants that the company operates there with its cooperation partners. In China, many consistent measures to protect health have been consistently implemented, according to the VW announcement. “There was no case of Covid-19 in the workforce there.”
In order to ensure the supply of the plants in the East Asian country, the VW component plants in Braunschweig and Kassel started production again on April 6th. The component plants in Salzgitter, Chemnitz and Hanover as well as in Poland followed after Easter. “The gradual start-up of our factories was important in order to secure supplies to the overseas factories,” said Thomas Schmall, CEO of the Volkswagen Group Component brand.
Now it was a matter of “supplying components to all vehicle manufacturing plants across all brands”. In the component factories, among other things, engines and transmissions are built for the group brands.