Coronavirus: Volkswagen extends production halt as demand sinks, supplies dry up
Volkswagen said that it will extend stops to production in Germany as it deals with fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.
"Volkswagen is responding especially to the fall in demand on the automobile market and the challenges faced by the supply chain," the company said.
Volkswagen AG CEO Herbert Diess on Saturday warned that the coronavirus crisis may force the company to keep its factories shut for longer than initially planned.
“Most of our factories are closing for two weeks, in some regions for three. It is likely that these measures will last," Diess said in a Linkedin post.
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Volkswagen expects the car market in Germany to recover in the summer after the auto maker was forced to suspend output due to the coronavirus pandemic, an executive told a newspaper on Wednesday.
"We assume that Germany will return to normal in the summer," Juergen Stackmann, management board member for the Volkswagen passenger cars brand, told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
"We must learn how to live with the virus," he said, adding that he did not expect the virus to disappear again quickly. "The standstill cannot last longer than summer ... Society and the economy cannot withstand that."
The German auto giant, which employs about 670,000 people worldwide across the group, last week announced it will stop production in Europe. Volkswagen also suspended its car production in Russia over a supply shortage caused by the coronavirus outbreak in Europe. Factories in other regions including South America have also halted operations since then, while Volkswagen’s operations in its largest market China are gradually ramping up output again after the shutdown.
The company's brands include Volkswagen, Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Ducati, Lamborghini, Porsche, Seat and Skoda.