Volkswagen has announced that it will be extending the closure of its manufacturing facilities to April 19. This comes as the automaker responds to the lack of demand in the automobile market as well as challenges faced by the supply chain, both arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company’s plants affected by the closure include those that serve the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Volkswagen Group Components. This is the second time the automaker has had to extend the plant closures, with the first being announced a week ago (until April 9). The company first revealed it would suspend production for two weeks in mid-March.

For now, the company will continue to prepare for the resumption of production and plans to end the resulting short-time working (employees agree to or are forced to accept a reduction in working time and pay) with the night shift of April 19 to 20, which will involve some 80,000 employees of Volkswagen AG.

“The health of our employees has the highest priority. We are making good progress with an extremely comprehensive package of measures for the staged run-up of production. This also includes additional measures as regards hygiene and distances between employees on the production line,” said Andreas Tostmann, member of the Volkswagen brand board of management.