Following a production halt for several weeks during the coronavirus crisis, Germany’s largest automobile manufacturer Volkswagen announced on Monday that it is resuming vehicle production in its main plant in Wolfsburg.
Production would start at only 10 to 15 percent of its capacity at the beginning, increasing to around 40 percent during next week, Volkswagen said.
Initially, production of Volkswagen’s Golf model would be restarted on a one-shift basis. For that, around 8,000 employees would return to the plant in Wolfsburg on Monday.
At the same time, around 2,600 supplier companies of Volkswagen, the majority of them located in Germany, had also restarted their production to supply the main plant with parts, according to Volkswagen.
“Step-by-step resumption of production is an important signal for the workforce, dealerships, suppliers and the wider economy,” said Ralf Brandstaetter, chief operating officer of the Volkswagen passenger cars brand.
Volkswagen announced that production of additional vehicle models would start again on Wednesday. In the following week, production would then be ramped up to multi-shift operation.
To provide “maximum health protection” for its employees, the works council and Volkswagen had agreed on a 100-point plan, including rules on distance and hygiene, such as requiring employees to take their temperature at home every morning and to go through a health checklist before work.
In addition, walking routes within the plant would be diverted in order to avoid contact. Distance markers on the floor would indicate walking routes and meeting places. Where the minimum distance of 1.5 meters could not be maintained, face masks were compulsory, according to Volkswagen.
“The health of our colleagues has absolute priority when production resumes,” said Bernd Osterloh, chairman of the General and Group Works Councils of Volkswagen.
After the resumption of production in the plant in Zwickau last week, the main plant in Wolfsburg was the second vehicle plant of Volkswagen in Germany to resume production.