Volkswagen Group’s Audi unit is among automakers gradually reopening factories in Europe, whilst coronavirus lockdowns drag on across much of the region.
Some 100 workers at Audi’s Goyer, Hungary site, one among the world’s largest engine plants, restarted output on a production line during a single-shift system, the corporate said Tuesday. A second line is about to follow at the top of the week.

Manufacturers face a crushing economic blow after governments across Europe placed restrictions on public life to combat the pandemic, which has claimed some 125,000 lives worldwide. The slump may mean 3 million lost vehicle sales this year in Europe, or 61 billion euros ($66 billion) in lower revenue, consistent with Bloomberg analyst Michael Dean.

After weeks of restrictions, governments and corporations are sketching out of exit strategies. Still, efforts to urge the economy back on target are likely to be gradual and should encounter setbacks if the virus resurges.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel will discuss possible steps to ease restrictions with leaders of the German states on Wednesday. The talks are set to influence when and the way quickly the country’s automotive giants, from Daimler to BMW, start revving up factories in Germany, the region’s carmaking heartland.Rebooting Europe’s sprawling industrial network will prove complex. Supply chains are closely intertwined across regions, transport restrictions are poised to stay in situ for a few time and therefore the number of infections remains relatively high in some areas.

Industry executives have warned against a hastily arranged restart and involved a coordinated European approach, whilst crisis-fighting measures vary from country to country

Renault has restarted some of the operations in Portugal, and plans to resume a part of its production in Romania on April 20, a spokeswoman said. Russian operations gradually began restarting on Monday. Hyundai’s facility in Nosovice, Czech Republic, is resuming output with two shifts rather than the standard three, CTK reported.

At Audi, Volkswagen’s biggest profit contributor, vehicle production in Hungary could start toward the top of next week. VW, the world’s biggest automaker, employs about 480,000 people across Europe, the bulk of its global workforce of around 680,000.
“The company is doing everything to safeguard the health of employees,” Audi said within the statement.

VW has kept some components operations running in Germany during the shutdown, with a complete of 1,750 employees across five sites, to safeguard parts supplies to factories in China where the economic recovery is progressing.
While moderation in new infections prompted Austria and Denmark to start out easing restrictions, France just extended a lockdown which may push the bloc’s second-largest economy into a deeper recession. Britain is additionally likely to elongate restrictions, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told reporters.

Even if auto production resumes, it’s not clear when showrooms will reopen or whether consumers will want to shop for. The dealerships increasingly feel the pinch from the sales halt imposed last month, German car data provider DAT said Tuesday. Cars lose 30 euros ($31) in value on the average every day, so a dealer with a listing of 300 vehicles is already facing 234,200 euros ($258,500) in costs so far, consistent with DAT

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