VW braces for “very difficult year” as pandemic shuts factories

20. März 2020 - autocar

VW braces for “very difficult year” as pandemic shuts factories

Volkswagen will gradually close most of its European plants to protect against coronavirus, with “unknown operational and financial challenges”

The Volkswagen Group has said it is "almost impossible" to forecast its 2020 performance as the global coronavirus pandemic unfolds, with most of its European factories set to gradually close in the coming weeks.

"The health and safety of our employees and their families is the most important priority in the situation and my primary objective is to slow down the spread of coronavirus as much as possible" CEO Herbert Diess said in a live-streamed annual media conference.

The measures include halting production at the VW Group's plants in Spain, Portugal, Slovakia and Italy "before the end of this week". Most other German and European plants will shut "in the coming weeks". Along with virus spreading fears, the Group cites "significant deterioration in sales" and "uncertainty over plants supplies" as core reasons for shuttering production.

However, production has been resumed across a number of its Chinese factories, as the virus appears to be brought under control locally. As China's largest foreign carmaker, Volkswagen's financial exposure through the crisis was acute, with the sales slump likely to have a significant effect on its 2020 performance - although Diess claims consumers are now returning to dealers in the region.

Diess admitted that the pandemic presents the VW Group with "unknown operational and financial challenges" but was upbeat about a recovery, stating "we will succeed in overcoming the corona crisis by pooling our strengths and with close cooperation and high morale in our group".

The uncertainty over 2020 contrasts starkly with the message of positivity Diess portrayed over 2019, which was a "very successful year" for the group. Overall operating profit rose 22% to 6.9bn euros.

The VW passenger cars division posted revenues of 88.4bn euros - 4.5% higher than 2018 - and an operating profit before special items increase from 3.2bn to 3.8bn euros. Skoda, Seat, and Porsche all posted sales revenue increases of between 10 and 15%, with Bentley returning to profit with a substantial 35.1% boost in revenues and 3.1% return on sales (up from -18.6% the previous year).

With the global economy increasingly impacted by the pandemic, most large car making groups have seen massive losses in the stock market. VW is not alone, with its share price down 38% since January. However, Diess maintained that the Group's significant investment in electrification would not be "reprioritised"

Nachrichten per Tags

A1AbgasskandalALFA ROMEOAlpineAston MartinaudiAudi a6Audi A8audi e-tronAudi Q3Audi Q4Audi Q4 e-tronAudi R8Audi Rs3Audi RS6Audi S3AutobahnAutomarktBadenbatteryBentleybikeBMWBMW 2 seriesBMW 4 Seriesbmw i3BMW i4BMW ix3BMW M2BMW M3BMW M4BMW x6BMW x7BoschBrabusBugatticampercamper vanChinaCitroenclassic carcoronaviruscustom carDaciaDacia DusterDacia SanderoDacia SpringDaimlerDetroit Auto ShowDeutschlandDiebstahldieselDiesel scandaldieselgateDonald TrumpDonaustadtdrag raceDucatiE-AutoE-AutoselectricElektroautoElektroautosElon MuskEUEuropaEuropeevFerrariFeuerwehrFeuerwehreinsatzFiatFordFord FiestaFord FocusFord Mustang Mach-EFORMEL 1FranceFrankfurt Motor ShowGebrauchtwagenGeneva Motor ShowGermanyGrazhondaHybridHyundaiHyundai Ioniq 5Hyundai KonaIAAINNSBRUCKItalienJaguarJeepjobsKärntenKiaKia EV6kia SportageKroatienKTMLamborghiniLand RoverLand Rover DefenderLEXUSLinzLKWLockdownManMaybachMazdaMazda 3Mazda CX-5MclarenMecedesMeidlingMercedesMercedes C-ClassMercedes EQCMercedes GLEMercedes S-classMercedes-MaybachMiniMISTELBACHMITSUBISHImotorcycleMotorrädMotorräderMünchenNeuwagenNiederösterreichNissanNissan AriyaÖAMTCOBERÖSTERREICHÖFFENTLICHER VERKEHROpelOpel AstraOpel CorsaOpel MokkaOsterreichParkenparkingParkpickerlPARKPLATZParkplätzeParksheriffParkstrafePeugeotPeugeot 208Peugeot 308polizeiPOLIZEIEINSATZPorschePorsche 911Porsche CayennePorsche CaymanPorsche MacanPorsche PanameraPorsche TaycanRaserrecallRED BULLRenaultrestorationRETTUNGRettungseinsatzrvSalzburgSCHWECHATSeatSkodaSkoda EnyaqSkoda FabiaSkoda KaroqSkoda Octaviasmartspy shotsST. PÖLTENStauSTEIERMARKStellantisSteyrStrafeStraßenverkehrsupercarsSUVSuzukiSwedentarifftaxitechnologyTeslaTesla model 3Tesla Model XTesla Model YtestTirolToyotaToyota Yaristrade warTraiskirchentuningUberUKUnfallUnited StatesURLAUBUSAused car buying guideVerkehrVERKEHRSSICHERHEITVerkehrsunfallVienna AutoshowvignetteVokswagenVolkswagenVolkswagen CaddyVolkswagen GolfVolkswagen ID.3Volkswagen ID.4Volkswagen PassatVolkswagen TiguanVolkswagen TransporterVolvoVWVW BeetleVW GolfVW ID.3VW TouaregVW TransporterWWienYamaha