Volkswagen van production to restart 27 April

  • VWCV van factories to reopen before the end of April
  • Follows five weeks of shut down due to coronavirus
  • Major effort to protect workers will reduce capacity for a time

VW van factory - Transporter T6.1

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has announced that is to begin production again in its factories in Germany and Poland. The restart – which will be staggered as part of a programme of measures to protect workers – is scheduled for Monday 27 April 2020.

At this point, the VW van factories will have been shut down for a period of five weeks as a direct result of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Will the VW van factories be going straight back to full production capacity?

No, it will very much be a gradual ramping up of production.

This is partly due to the number one need to protect the returning workers – and VW apparently has a 100-point plan covering this process, not just in its own factories but those of its suppliers as well – but also reflects the availability of parts, and the reality that the van market is very different to what it was just a few weeks ago, too.

In other words, there is no point producing the previous numbers of vans the plants were capable of, as the demand to buy them isn’t there, and likely won’t be for a little while to come.

What is VW doing to protect its workers?

VW says it is ‘massively extending health precaution measures.’

As well as enforcing social distancing rules, the factories have increased cleaning schedules, stricter hygiene standards and will be operating a staggered start and end to the day, so the number of people in close proximity will be reduced.

In areas where a 1.5m social distancing level (as required by German and EU rules) can’t be maintained, facemasks and other protective equipment will be mandatory.

Employees are also being encouraged to take their own temperatures before the start of every shift.

This is presumably good news in general, though?

According to chair of the VWCV Works Council, Bertina Murkovic: ‘It is a good signal for the economy and the public, if we are able to show a way forward out of the shutdown.’

She added: ‘For us as the Works Council, the health of our colleagues is the core focus. We will therefore be watching the entire development in connection with COVID-19 extremely closely.

‘With the factory agreement endorsed by the entire works council we have created a good framework for the resumption of production in Hanover, reconciling economic interests and the protection of the workforce.’

Also read:

>> Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for van and pickup drivers

>> Coronavirus (COVID-19) van warranty and servicing advice

>> What to do if you need a van payment holiday

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