At the start of April 2020, Volkswagen announced that it would extend the closure of its manufacturing facilities to April 19. Now, the company is detailing its production restart plans, which will be on a step-by-step basis beginning from April 20.

To start, Volkswagen Passenger Cars will restart production at its Slovakian plants in Zwickau and Bratislava from April 20. This will then be followed by other plants in Germany, Portugal, Spain, Russia and the United States from April 27, while facilities in South Africa, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico will resume production sometime in May.

“With the decisions by the federal and state governments in Germany and the loosening of restrictions in other European states, conditions have been established for the gradual resumption of production,” said Ralf Brandstätter, COO of the Volkswagen brand.

“Volkswagen has prepared intensively for these steps over the past three weeks. In addition to developing a comprehensive catalogue of measures for the protection of our employees’ health, we have also forged ahead with the re-establishment of our supply chains,” he added.

Despite, the planned resumption, short-time working will continue at Volkswagen plants in Germany, although the company expects the number of employees affected by the measure will be successively reduced in due time.

“We are resuming production and logistics with a staged approach in a well-organized way. The health of our employees has the highest priority. We are providing safe workplaces and the maximum possible level of health protection with a 100-point plan,” commented Andreas Tostmann, board member of the Volkswagen brand responsible for Production and Logistics.

“In full awareness of our responsibility, we are ensuring that the economy regains momentum and cars once again leave the plants and reach our dealers and customers,” he continued.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen Group Components had already started to resume production step-by-step at its plants in Brunswick and Kassel from April 6, followed by plants in Salzgitter, Chemnitz and Hanover, as well as the Polish plants, from April 14, to safeguard component supplies for vehicle production in China.

The company is also calling upon the experience gained with the production ramp-up at its plants in China in this initiative, where a large number of health protection measures have been successfully implemented. As of now, 32 of the 33 plants in China have returned to production, with no cases of Covid-19 reported among the employees there.