Major German automaker Volkswagen has announced that it has resumed vehicle production at its Wolfsburg plant. Initially, production of the famed Golf hatchback will recommence on a one-shift basis — with reduced capacity and longer cycle times. A couple of days back, around 8,000 employees returned to the production halls. At the same time, some 2,600 suppliers, the majority of them located in Germany, have resumed production for Volkswagen’s main plant. Measures to protect the health of the workforce have been significantly expanded.
“Step-by-step resumption of production is an important signal for the workforce, dealerships, suppliers and the wider economy. In terms of managing the crisis, though, this is just the first step. Additional momentum is needed to stimulate demand in Germany and throughout Europe so that production volumes can be successively increased,” Ralf Brandstätter, Chief Operating Officer of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, said.
Volkswagen officials also stated that around 1,400 vehicles are expected to have been built by the end of the first week of production at the Wolfsburg plant. Furthermore, production is to be ramped up to more than 6,000 vehicles in the following week as multi-shift operation recommences. That represents approximately 40 percent of production prior to the start of the corona pandemic. Production ramp-up is in line with the current availability of parts given the continuing impact of the corona pandemic, government requirements in Germany and Europe, the development of sales markets and the resulting modes of operation of the plants.
To add to this, Volkswagen has shared a 100-point plan with more than 40,000 suppliers and logistics partners throughout the world. Under normal operating conditions, 2,600 suppliers from 71 countries – a large proportion of them located in Germany – deliver around 21,000 different parts to the Wolfsburg plant every day in about 2,000 trucks and 100 rail cars. Every day, around 180 double-decker rail cars and some 185 car transporters leave the plant.