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Global Automakers Halt Production Across European Plants

Carmakers deal with the reality of the spreading coronavirus and falling auto demand.

Image: Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg plant. Source: Hannes Grobe / CC BY (

(Reuters) – Automakers are halting production at plants across Europe as they grapple with the coronavirus pandemic and diving demand.

Below is a list of their announcements:


The German company said on March 18 that it was preparing to suspend production at its plants in Europe and Rosslyn, South Africa, until April 19, responding to lower demand and to help reduce risk of contagion. The shutdowns will start at the end of the week.


– The owner of the Mercedes-Benz brand on Tuesday said it will suspend most of its production in Europe for two weeks in an effort to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

– “The suspension applies to Daimler’s car, van and commercial vehicle plants in Europe and will start this week,” the Stuttgart-based carmaker said.

– Global supply chains currently cannot be maintained to their full extent, it said, adding that the economic effects of the coronavirus on Daimler cannot be adequately determined or reliably quantified at this time.


– Luxury carmaker Ferrari said on March 14 that it was closing its two plants until March 27 in response to the coronavirus outbreak in Italy and an emerging shortage of parts.


– Fiat Chrysler said on March 16 it was halting production at its Italian plants of Melfi, Pomigliano, Cassino, Mirafiori, Grugliasco and Modena as well as Serbia’s Kragujevac facilities and Poland’s Tychy plant for two weeks.

– The company has again halted operations at its Atessa plant in Italy, citing disruptions in parts supply linked to the coronavirus outbreak, having reopened the factory the previous day.


– Ford said on March 17 it was temporarily suspending vehicle and engine production at its manufacturing sites in continental Europe in response to the growing impact of the coronavirus. Effective from Thursday, March 19, it is expected that this action will continue for a number of weeks.

– The Ford vehicle manufacturing sites in Cologne and Saarlouis in Germany, together with the Craiova facility in Romania, will halt production temporarily from Thursday, March 19, the carmaker said.

– Ford said its Valencia assembly and engine facility in Spain temporarily halted production from Monday, March 16, after three workers were confirmed with coronavirus over the past weekend. Only essential work, such as maintenance and security, will continue on-site.

– Ford said on March 15 that it would shut its Spanish plant in the eastern region of Valencia for one week after three employees tested positive for coronavirus.


– Nissan has ceased production at Britain’s biggest car factory as it assesses supply chain disruption and the drop in market demand, the Japanese carmaker said on March 17.

– The company said on March 18 that it has stopped vehicle production at its European plants.


– French carmaker PSA, which owns the Peugeot, Opel and Vauxhall brands, said on March 16 that it was closing its European factories until March 27.

– TPSA, a joint venture owned by PSA and Toyota (7203.T), said on March 18 that it will suspend production in the Czech Republic a week earlier than planned.


– Renault said on March 16 it was shutting production at its industrial facilities in France, affecting 12 sites and 18,000 workers.

– Renault said on March 17 it would also close its factories in Spain.

– Romanian carmaker Dacia, owned by Renault, will stop production at its Mioveni plant until April 5, it said on March 18.


– Volkswagen said it was suspending production at its sites in Europe. It has 124 production sites worldwide, 72 of which are in Europe, with 28 in Germany.

– VW said it was suspending production in Wolfsburg, Emden, Dresden, Osnabrück, Zwickau, Bratislava, Pamplona, Spain, Palmela and Portugal, as well as the components factories in Braunschweig, Chemnitz, Hannover, Kassel, Salzgitter and at its Wolfsburg-based seats plant SITECH.

– Volkswagen said on March 17 it would halt production at factories in Spain, Setubal in Portugal, Bratislava in Slovakia and the Lamborghini and Ducati plants in Italy before the end of the week.

– Czech brand Skoda said on March 17 it would start shutdowns at its domestic plants on March 18.

– Audi, Volkswagen’s premium unit, said on March 17 it would halt output at its plants in Belgium, Germany, Hungary and Mexico.

– VW said on March 18 that it will halt production in three plants in Poland for at least two weeks.


– Sweden’s Volvo Cars, owned by China’s Geely, closed production at its plant in Ghent, Belgium, until further notice, the company’s spokesman said on March 18.

Compiled by Boleslaw Lasocki and Jagoda Darlak in Gdansk and Edward Taylor in Frankfurt; Editing by Mark Potter and David Goodman.


Source: Reuters

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