William Malcolm

VW To Close European Plants Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

The German automobile group Volkswagen will close its European factories for two to three weeks. The last shift in most operations will be this Friday, the concern announced. The automaker also warned that this year will be challenging.

At the end of the week, production will stop at Spanish plants, in the Portuguese city of Setubal, then in Bratislava and in the Italian plants Lamborghini and Ducati. Most of the German and European Volkswagen plants will start preparing for a two- to three-week suspension of production.

Luxury car manufacturer Audi, part of the Volkswagen Group, will also shut down its plant in Hungary from Monday. “This will affect Audi’s plants in Ingolstadt, Neckarsulm, Brussels, Mexico and Gyor, Hungary,” the automaker said.

Volkswagen Group plants in China have resumed operations. Exceptions are the factories in Changsha and Urumqi.

On Monday, French car manufacturer PSA announced the temporary closure of its European plants, including the factory in Trnava, Slovakia. On the same day, Italian-American competitor Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) also informed about interruptions in most plants. The shutdowns for both automakers should last until March 27.

Volkswagen is the largest car manufacturer in the world, the group owns a total of 12 brands. These include Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, Skoda, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, and Porsche passenger car brands, the MAN and Scania truck brands, as well as Volkswagen commercial vehicles and Ducati motorcycles.