Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VWCV) will shut down factories for 10 days in Germany and Poland from today (Thursday, March 19) in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The production sites affected are those in Hannover (T6.1, Amarok and eCrafter), Poznań in Poland (Caddy and T6.1) and Września in Poland (Crafter).
The reasons for stopping production are the uncertain sales environment for light commercial vehicles, the suppliers’ volatile supply chains and to protect the health of all employees.
Thomas Sedran, chairman of the VWCV brand's Board of Management, said: “The coronavirus pandemic is naturally having an impact on our entire business: on supply chains, on our production operation, on sales and on our distribution and service partners. In close consultation with our works councils and within the Group network, we have therefore decided at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles to shut down production at all three sites. This is the only right decision to take, not least so as not to expose our workers to any unnecessary health risk.”
Bertina Murkovic, chairman of the VWCV Works Council, added: “The Works Council is fully behind the management team’s decision to shut down production in Hannover.
“For all of us on the Works Council the health and the safeguarding of the workers and their families is the absolute priority.
“All the measures being taken are designed to curb the spread of the virus. In order to achieve this the workforce at Volkswagen is solidly pulling together.”
All measures taken to date remain applicable until further notice, always with the aim of preventing personal contact wherever possible and thus containing the spread of the coronavirus.
These include: more flexible use of remote working; particular protection of employees in COVID-19 risk groups; meetings being held by Skype or telephone; company restaurants and self-service shops being closed as of today and no catering being provided any more; employees returning from abroad at any time since 14 March are for the duration of the incubation period of 14 days not being allowed to enter any Volkswagen AG operating sites or other premises.
The suspension affects around 24,000 staff in Germany and Poland.