That was relatively quick: Within less than three weeks after the Corona restart, parts of the VW workforce in Wolfsburg are running out of work. Closures are still limited to individual areas.
Wolfsburg (dpa) - Because of the slump in sales in the corona crisis, Volkswagen has to shut down work in places after the recent restart.
At the main plant in Wolfsburg, the production of the small SUV Tiguan as well as the Touran and the Seat Tarraco will soon be completely stopped over four days. This applies on Friday (May 15th) as well as on May 20th, 25th and 29th, it said on Tuesday evening from corporate circles. The new Golf 8 is also affected, but here only individual shifts will be canceled on the days mentioned.
In addition, the possibility of short-time work should be extended to at least the period from May 18 to 31. The option was registered with the employment agency by the end of June.
About a third of the approximately 80,000 employees for whom reduced working hours have previously been reported in Germany have not yet returned, according to an interview with manager Arne Meiswinkel on the VW intranet. The restart had "worked extremely well," said the manager responsible for personnel principles. "But: Depending on the customer's vehicle orders, we have to continue to drive flexibly on sight." It can happen that employees are "on site" at times and then have to work shorter again. In May, 7700 short-time workers were employed in Wolfsburg.
Volkswagen initially started production in Zwickau at the end of April, then at its headquarters in Wolfsburg and at several other European locations. However, customers across the industry continue to be cautious. For a long time, besides production, the car dealerships were tight - now the stores are full, while many consumers shy away from larger expenses. There were also significant supply chain problems.
The VW group introduced new hygiene concepts in factories and offices. In Wolfsburg, where it started again after almost a month and a half of lockdown on April 27, around 8000 employees came back in a first step. Usually up to 70,000 are used here. The goal was to increase capacity utilization on the lines to 40 percent by the end of last week and then further. According to reports - depending on the location and vehicle type - the VW core brand is working with capacities between 35 and 50 percent.
VW also has financial losses due to the consequences of the pandemic. Profit and sales declined in the first quarter. CFO Frank Witter expects a daily loss for the current second quarter. In the whole of 2020 there should still be a positive operating result - but "seriously" below the previous year's value.
New registrations are at record lows in many markets. The Volkswagen core brand sold almost nothing in the United Kingdom, France, Spain and Italy in April, while deliveries in Germany decreased by a good two thirds compared to the same month in the previous year. In China, the country of origin of the virus crisis, the situation is stabilizing. In the end, only the Urumqi plant was not completely online again. VW was down 2.5 percent in the People's Republic, the overall market by 7 percent.
Core brand sales manager Jürgen Stackmann spoke of "alarming" consumption data at the beginning of the week. As of this Friday, the group is also launching a sales program for Audi, Skoda, Seat and light commercial vehicles in order to boost demand. Speaking about the controversial car purchase premiums, the VW manager said: "It will not be possible without a broad stimulus package - for the entire economy, not just for the automotive industry." The federal government wants to decide on this by early June.