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16 Apr 2020


Germany: Carmakers to reopen plants as COVID-19 lockdown eases; additional health & safety measures planned

"German carmakers to resume production as lockdowns ease", 15 April 2020

German carmakers including Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz will restart production at some German factories next week after the country eased restrictions designed to contain the coronavirus outbreak...

Volkswagen said it will start producing cars for its core brand in Zwickau, Germany, and in Bratislava, Slovakia, on April 20...

The carmaker has retooled production to ensure that workers keep 1.5 metres apart. Other measures include the staggering of shifts and lunch breaks, plus steps to change worker interaction in VW’s supply chain.

Bernd Osterloh, Chairman of the company’s Works Council, said: “In the light of the pandemic, we need to adapt our routines. One answer is our new agreement on health protection. With about 100 measures, we are keeping the risk of infection at Volkswagen as low as possible.”

In China, where a Volkswagen has already implemented health measures, 32 of the 33 plants have resumed production and no coronavirus infections among employees have been reported.

Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler said that its plants in Hamburg, Berlin and Untertuerkheim will resume production next week...

Production will initially start in a one-shift system, Daimler said...

German peer BMW said it had no information about the timetable for resuming production.