Volkswagen to shut its European plants for at least two weeks

Volkswagen cars
German car maker Volkswagen has said it will temporarily shut down most of its European plants in light following the corona virus pandemic.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Chief Executive Herbert Diess said the company would shut down production at factories operated by the group’s brands “in the near future,” with most European plants set to suspend work for at least two weeks.

Production at Volkswagen plants in Spain, Slovakia and Italy would all be halted before the end of the week, Diess added.

The decision to shut the plants come shortly after the world’s largest carmaker by sales, warned 2020 would be a difficult year with the corona virus outbreak posing “unknown operational and financial challenges.”

“The spread of coronavirus is currently impacting the global economy. It is uncertain how severely or for how long this will also affect the Volkswagen Group,” Frank Witter, chief financial officer at Volkswagen, said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Currently, it is almost impossible to make a reliable forecast. We are making full use of all measures in task force mode to support our employees and their families and to stabilize our business,” he added.