Volkswagen Group said it planned to restart production at six of 14 assembly plants it runs with local partners in China on Monday, signaling the coronavirus outbreak is crimping supply chains and the availability of employees.
Five of the six factories resuming output after an extended Lunar New Year are run by VW’s joint venture with FAW Group Corp. and one is operated under a partnership with SAIC Motor Corp.
Volkswagen, the largest foreign automaker in China, said its remaining factories will resume output on Feb. 17.
Government officials have issued travel bans across China to help contain the viral outbreak, which started in Wuhan, a major industrial and auto manufacturing hub.
“We are working hard on getting back to normal production processes, facing challenges due to the nationwide restarting of supply chains as well as limited travel options for our production employees,” the German auto giant said.
VW operates six plants with FAW and eight with SAIC.
In 2019, FAW-VW sold 2.13 million vehicles under the VW and Audi brands, an increase of 3.8 percent from a year earlier.
By contrast, SAIC-VW delivered 2 million cars under Volkswagen and Skoda marques, dipping 3 percent year on year.
To contain the spread of the viral outbreak, most Chinese provinces extended the Lunar New Year holiday to Feb. 9 from Jan. 30. Many inter-province highways have been closed to prevent the transmission of the virus.