Earlier today, Volkswagen AG hosted its Annual Media Conference which gave life to at least two very important news. First, the automaker is launching a new crossover in Europe and, second, the Germans will work in cooperation with Ford on the next-gen Amarok truck. The Wolfsburg-based manufacturer also announced it will temporarily stop production in Europe.
That's, of course, due to the global coronavirus outbreak, which already forced a large number of automakers to suspend production in China, Japan, and Europe. At VAG, the production pause will be divided into two stages.
"Production will be halted at our Spanish plants, Setubal in Portugal, Bratislava in Slovakia, and the Lamborghini and Ducati plants in Italy before the end of this week. Most of the other German and European plants will begin preparing to suspend production, probably for two weeks. The individual brands will communicate details of operating plans as soon as possible," Volkswagen's official statement reads.
Almost all manufacturers are suspending production in Europe. FCA will stop production until March 27, while PSA is pausing the assembly lines across the entire continent until April. Ferrari, Ford, Lamborghini, and others are also taking measures to protect their employees by asking them to stay and work from home.
According to the latest data, there are almost 190,000 officially confirmed cases of coronavirus globally with 7,500 deaths as of today. China still has the highest number of total cases (80,881) but Italy currently faces the highest number of active cases (23,073).
The good news for Volkswagen is that the company is slowly restarting production in China. "In contrast, production in China has been resumed with the exception of the factories in Changsha and Urumqi," Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen, added.