Volkswagen's Polish plants restart production

Volkswagen Poznań has paid full wages for its employees over the five weeks of closure, in line with arrangements made with the company's trade union, Solidarność Volkswagen Poznań. Jakub Kaczmarczyk/PAP

Volkswagen Poznań, a Polish unit of the German car maker, is gradually reinstating manufacturing after a five-week break caused by the coronavirus threat, the company's spokesperson, Patrycja Kasprzyk said on Monday.

Volkswagen Poznań, which employs 11,000 people and operates four plants, suspended production on March 19.

About 20 percent of the plants' capacity has been restarted and about 25 percent of employees returned to work in VW's western-Polish plants in Poznań, Swarzędz and Września, Kasprzyk said.

The production line pace has been reduced in order to ensure the safety of workers and keep to the required minimum distance between them.

VW Poland CEO Jens Ocksen, quoted in the company's news release, expressed hope that the situation in Europe will soon stabilise to an extent that will make it possible to bring the plants back to full capacity.

Ocksen said that although the company had experience with returning to full capacity after holiday breaks, "this launch cannot be compared with any previous experience."

At the initial stage, the Poznań plant will make 150 Caddy and T6.1 commercial vehicles and the Września facility will manufacture 70 Crafter and Man TGE delivery vans every day.

Apart from the Polish plants, VW has restarted production in its facility in Hannover, Germany. The company's Poznań-based foundry reinstated production in mid-April.

Volkswagen Poznań has paid full wages for its employees over the five weeks of closure, in line with arrangements made with the company's trade union, Solidarność Volkswagen Poznań.

In 2019, Volkswagen Poznań manufactured a total of 266,127 delivery vehicles.