Close on the heels of Herbert Diess, CEO, Volkswagen (VW), warning of factory closures in Europe, the German auto manufacturing company is now planning short-time work for nearly 80,000 employees in Germany.
The decision came into effect after the Company temporarily suspended its factory operations due to the coronavirus outbreak.
In a speech, on March 25, VW supervisory board member, Bernd Althusmann, said that the pandemic has brought an unprecedented challenge in the history of Germany, and the aftermath will affect small and large businesses which will go beyond the financial crisis of 2008-2009.
Under German short-time working rules, the State will pay a part of the reduced salaries for workers. The programme played a significant role after the financial crisis, and helped to resume operations swiftly when markets bounced back. Althusmann expects the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak will be felt for a long time.
Volkswagen is taking measures to secure liquidity and its supply chains, and also to continue with strategic projects, such as the launch of the Company’s ID.3 electric car and the supply of battery cells.
With its headquarters in Lower Saxony and nearly 670,000 employees across the globe, the automaker decided on short work after the confirmed coronavirus cases rose by 2,705 to reach 16,662 last week.
Factories in other regions, including South America, have also halted operations since then. Volkswagen’s operations in its largest market, China, are gradually ramping up output again after the shutdown.