Coronavirus takes toll on Rolls Royce, luxury carmaker to suspend production
Amid all major carmakers deciding to suspend operations across Europe amid coronavirus outbreak, one more major brand has decided to join the bandwagon.
British luxury carmaker Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has announced that production at the company’s Goodwood-based manufacturing plant will be suspended from next week (Monday 23 March) for two weeks.
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In order to further secure the health and welfare of the employees of the company this suspension will be followed by an already-planned two-week Easter maintenance shutdown.
The day-to-day operations of the company will be assured by non-production employees who will remain at work at the company’s head office on the Goodwood Estate in West Sussex or who will work from home on a rotational basis. Social distancing measures have been introduced throughout the company.
This unprecedented action has been taken following the introduction of additional measures by the UK Government to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.
Torsten Muller-Otvos, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said, “This action has not been taken lightly, but the health and well-being of our exceptional workforce is first and foremost in our minds. We are a tight-knit community at the Home of Rolls‑Royce and I have no doubt that our resilience will shine through during this extraordinary time." He continued, “As a deeply customer-focused company we are aware that this decision to pause our production will possibly cause some discomfort or inconvenience to a few of our esteemed patrons, for which we apologise while seeking their understanding at this difficult time."
On Wednesday, German carmaker BMW said it would close European and South African factories accounting for half its output for a month, matching other car giants stricken by coronavirus containment measures. It also warned that profits this year would be significantly lower as a result of the crisis.
Car sales in Europe are off to their worst start to a year since 2013 and are poised to deteriorate further after automakers across the region shuttered plants to counter the coronavirus pandemic.
Passenger registrations declined 7.2% in February after a similar drop in January, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association. Even those figures may be the best for several months as major European markets like France close dealerships and manufacturers including Volkswagen AG, Daimler AG and Peugeot-maker PSA Group idle plants.