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Car makers begin manufacturing again

Stephen Ottley

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Monday 4th May, 2020 - 3:00pm

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Porsche is among several companies re-starting production amid COVID-19 restrictions.

The automotive world has begun to ramp up production again despite the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. With many countries and regions around the world relaxing rules around work and social distancing car makers are carefully re-opening production plants.

In Europe Volkswagen, Porsche and Ferrari are all getting their production lines up and running again, but have implemented a range of strategies to try and keep workers safe from the spread of coronavirus.

For example, Porsche is requiring all workers to stay at least 1.5m away from each other and must wear a face mask as production gets underway from May 4 at its Zuffenhausen and Leipzig plants.

“The restart is an important signal – for our employees as well as for our customers,” said Albrecht Reimold, Member of the Executive Board for Production and Logistics at Porsche.

“We have monitored and analysed the situation very carefully right from the start and flexibly adapted processes. Now is the right time to look forward with optimism and to resume work – subject to special precautions.”

Ferrari is planning a staged ramp up of production this week, with some work beginning May 4 before full production begins on May 8.

Things aren’t as clear in the US, where General Motors (GM), Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) are aiming to get car production going again by the end of May. The powerful United Auto Workers union is working to ensure that its members don’t go back to work too soon. This follows reports that up to three FCA workers have died of coronavirus since the pandemic began. The company had previously targeted today (May 4) as the date to resume production but has since joined GM and Ford in pushing the start back indefinitely.

However, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have already started production in their US factories that build SUVs for global markets.

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