Production at Volkswagen in Wolfsburg Begins Again
The Volkswagen production plant based in Wolfsburg has reopened today, 27th April. Production is recommencing on a one-shift basis, with a reduced capacity and increased production time. There will be 8,000 employees returning to the production halls. Measures have been put in place to protect the health of the workforce during the current COVID-19 situation.
Bernd Oserloh, Chairman of the Group and General Works Councils comments; "For the Works Councils, the health of our colleagues has absolute priority when production is resumed. To that end, we have concluded general works agreement with some 100 health protection measures; Volkswagen is setting a standard for German Industry with this agreement."
To protect the employees several safety measures have been introduced including temperature checking at home every morning and a thorough health checklist to be completed before they leave for work. At the plant, walkway diversions have been set up to avoid contact, numerous distance markers on the floor act as guides for walking and for keeping distance. Mouth and nose protection must be worn in all areas where minimum distances of 1.5 meters is not possible. Cleaning frequency has increased, and the team have been given more time to clean their tools. The company is currently converting conference rooms into office spaces and home office options are being continued when possible.
Andreas Tostmanns, Volkswagen brand Board member responsible for Production and Logistics, comments on the safety measure; "The team is returning to workplaces that provide maximum level of safety. The company and the Works Council have agreed a 100-point plant to ensure that". Furthermore, Volkswagen has shared the 100-point plan with more than 40,000 suppliers and logistics partners throughout the world.
It is expected that 1,400 vehicles will be built by the end of the first week of production at the Wolfsburg plant. With production to be increased the following week to 6,000 vehicles as the multi-shift operation recommences. The figures represent a 40% of production prior to the start of the corona pandemic.
"Step-by-step resumption of production is an important signal for the workforce, dealerships, suppliers and the wide 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 Brandstatter, Chief Operating Officer of the Volkswagen Passenger Car brand.