Volkswagen, Audi on hold as Mexico's Puebla state not ready to reopen

Key Mexican state Puebla is reluctant to reopen citing unfavourable conditions for return of the automotive and construction sectors amid growing concerns of coronavirus.
By : Reuters
| Updated on: 13 Jun 2020, 13:00 PM
FILE PHOTO: An employee leaves the Volkswagen plant in Mexico amid growing worries over the spread of the coronavirus disease in Puebla, Mexico March 29, 2020. (REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: An employee leaves the Volkswagen plant in Mexico amid growing worries over the spread of the coronavirus disease in Puebla, Mexico March 29, 2020. (REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: An employee leaves the Volkswagen plant in Mexico amid growing worries over the spread of the coronavirus disease in Puebla, Mexico March 29, 2020. (REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: An employee leaves the Volkswagen plant in Mexico amid growing worries over the spread of the coronavirus disease in Puebla, Mexico March 29, 2020.

Mexico's Puebla state, where German automaker Volkswagen and its luxury brand unit Audi have major plants, said it is not ready to reopen its automotive sector due to ongoing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

Puebla's Governor Miguel Barbosa signed a decree on Friday stating that the conditions for return of the automotive and construction sectors are not favourable, according to a statement published on the state's Twitter account.

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Barbosa, an ally of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has said he wants to reopen the state's economy but not if that means people's lives will be at stake.

(Also read: Key Mexican state for German automakers hits brakes on restart)

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The Mexican unit of Volkswagen AG had previously said it was ready to resume operations in Puebla and the state of Guanajuato on June 15.

Mexico has registered 133,974 official coronavirus cases and 15,944 deaths, though the government says the real number of infections and deaths is significantly higher.

(Also read: Volkswagen Mexico plant worker dies after later shutdown than in United States)

Most Mexican car plants began reopening earlier this month after Lopez Obrador's administration classified operations in carmaking, mining and construction as essential activities from June 1.

The automotive industry represents 3.8% of Mexico's gross domestic product (GDP) and 20.5% of its manufacturing GDP, and directly employs nearly a million Mexicans.

First Published Date: 13 Jun 2020, 13:00 PM IST
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