Volvo Cars are restarting production at its Torslanda plant in Sweden on Monday (20 April), following a short period of downtime related to the corona virus pandemic. Volvo’s factory in Ghent, Belgium, will reopen on 20 April, but at reduced production output and the car maker plans to reopen its South Carolina plant in the United States on Monday 11 May after adapting sanitation and cleaning routines.
The company, which has decided to reopen following a dialogue with relevant labor unions, will also welcome back-office workers to its Swedish offices on Monday. Both the plant and offices have been prepared in recent weeks to be as safe as possible for people to return in a way that safeguards their health.
“We have introduced new health measures. We will work with gloves and masks in the areas where we come too close. The production rate will depend on the market. We can produce at full speed, but this depends on the orders,” Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson told Reuters. In recent weeks, company officials have reviewed every single working station in the Torslanda plant from a health and safety perspective, and where social distancing is not possible, other protective measures have been put in place.
Employees in Sweden can also take voluntary temperature tests and measure their blood oxygen levels. Office workers in other markets will continue to follow local guidelines. The engine plant in Skoevde, Sweden, and the body component manufacturing site in Olofstroem, Sweden will continue to plan their production weekly and adapt according to needs in the other plants, Volvo said.
Volvo Cars will continue to make use of the support package introduced by the Swedish government earlier this year, which means a continued reduction of working time for most employees. The welcome support by the government allows Volvo Cars to protect its fundamentally healthy business until markets stabilize. For more business news click here.