Carmakers Tiptoe Back into Production in Europe
Carmakers are trickling back into limited production in Europe, even as some countries in the region extend their stay-at-home orders.
Already Back Online
Volkswagen Group has been making components since April 6 at two facilities in Germany. Yesterday it reopened more facilities in Germany and Poland.
Audi’s engine plant in Gyor, Hungary, got back to business on April 14.
Volvo has begun modest output at a body components facility in Olofstrom, Sweden, and will do the same on April 20 at an engine plant in Skovde, Automotive News Europe reports.
Volvo also is preparing to resume final assembly operations at its home plant in Torslanda, which makes XC60 and XC90 crossover vehicles and the V90 wagon. All three facilities have been closed since March 26 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Olofstrom plant is already supplying components to Volvo’s assembly operations in China. The company resumed operations there at the end of March.
Due Next Week
VW plans to begin vehicle assembly on April 20 in Bratislava, Slovakia, and Swickau, Germany. More facilities will come online on April 27 in Germany, Portugal, Russia and Spain.
Daimler expects to reopen its small-car assembly plant in Kecskemet, Hungary, on April 22.
Toyota says its factories in France and Poland will go back online on April 22. The French plant in Valenciennes makes the Yaris mini-hatch. Two Polish plants will resume engine and transmission production.
End of April and Beyond
Aston Martin, which had planned to reopen on April 20, now says it won’t resume until April 27. The company blames unresolved issues with its suppliers and employee safety protocols.
Suzuki expects on April 27 to resume output of minicars, small cars and small SUV/crossovers at its factory in Esztergom, Hungary.
Toyota says it will reopen at least some of its factories in the Czech Republic, Portugal, Turkey and the U.K. on May 4.
Ferrari and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles also expect to reopen plants in Italy on May 4, after the government lockdown orders were extended to that date.
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