Carmakers are slowly preparing to reopen their manufacturing plants in Europe, after temporarily shutting them down in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Toyota, Renault, Hyundai, Volkswagen, and Volvo are among those that have plans in place, a move that seeks to get Europe’s economy back on track, albeit slowly and gradually.
About 100 workers at Audi’s Gyoer, Hungary site, restarted output on an assembly line in a single-shift system, with a second line set to follow later.
On the other hand, Hyundai’s car-making facility in Nosovice, Czech Republic, is set to resume output with only two shifts instead of the usual three.
According to Renault Chairman, Jean-Dominique Senard, the automaker is working on restarting factories in Portugal, Romania, and Russia.
Furthermore, Volkswagen is also looking to increase production at facilities in Germany in a bid to increase the number of components they send to factories in China.
Daimler is making plans to restart production at its engine facilities in Germany, with hopes of resuming manufacturing on 20th April 2020. Thereafter, Mercedes-Benz passenger car plants in Sindelfingen and Bremen will follow. During the start-up, these factories will initially produce in one-shift operation.
Fiat is looking to restart operations at three Italian sites as soon as the Government lifts restrictions on manufacturing.
Bloomberg reports that car registrations in Europe may fall by 20% in 2020, with 3 million lost vehicle sales, or 60 billion euros ($66 billion) in lower revenue.
Germany has already recorded a loss of 456,977 vehicles which failed to exit manufacturing facilities, representing almost a third of Europe’s total losses. Spain’s production halt has seen a loss of 284,364 vehicles, while the UK has lost 127,310 units, and France is down by 114,354 vehicles.
Still, the carmakers say they will do all it takes to protect the health of their workers, by conducting tests on everyone involved.