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Volkswagen Postpones Reopening American Factories

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reopening American factories
The restart of U.S. VW factories is delayed indefinitely
Photo: Volkswagen

Due to the dangers surrounding COVID-19, most car production factories around the world have been closed since March. With the first tentative steps toward reopening various businesses in the U.S. being taken, the auto industry finds itself in a difficult situation. The choice between restarting vehicle production and erring on the side of caution is a challenging one from a business perspective. But Volkswagen is not taking any chances and has postponed reopening American factories.

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Not yet reopening American factories

As April came to an end, Volkswagen’s planned reopening of its Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory on May 3 seemed more and more unlikely. Finally, on April 30, Volkswagen made the announcement that the restart of the factory had been delayed indefinitely. The Chattanooga factory has been closed since March 21, but an early-May reopening wasn’t in the cards for the German automaker. While the COVID-19 pandemic is beginning to ease in Asia, much of North America still finds itself under quarantine and without nonessential business. With the crisis continuing to extend, it’s unclear when VW will be opening its factories again.

“Before setting a new start date, Volkswagen will weigh the readiness of the supplier base, as well as market demand and the status of the Covid-19 outbreak,” Volkswagen said in a statement. The company also stated that it would be using their extra downtime to “refine and strengthen the health and safety measures to safeguard our employees.”

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Volkswagen certainly isn’t the only automaker facing the difficulties of the current pandemic. Fiat Chrysler, Toyota, and Hyundai had previously announced that they would begin reopening their respective factories on or around May 4. All three companies have since abandoned that date and have pushed their factory restarts to as-yet-undetermined dates. Stay tuned for more information on these and other automakers reopening American factories as it becomes available.