Automotive

Published on April 21st, 2020 | by Subhash Nair

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Volvo Cars Restart European Factories with Safety Measures

Following dialogues with labour unions and precautionary measures taken to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, Volvo Cars has decided to resume European factory operations this week. Starting yesterday, the Torslanda plant in Sweden, the Ghent plant in Belgium resumed production, though the Belgian plant was operated at reduced capacity. Other factories, like their engine plant in Skövde, Sweden and the body component manufacturing site in Olofström, Sweden will continue to plan their production on a weekly basis. Their South Carolina plant, where S60 models are built (even for our market), will only be opened on the 11th of May.

The company said they had carried out the necessary precautions, such as cleaning every facility extensively and ramping up scheduled sanitation routines. Voluntary temperature and pulse oximeter checks are also offered.

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Volvo Cars will make use of the Swedish government’s support package throughout the year, which will mean fewer hours spent at the office for some of their worked.

Volvo Cars Ghent plant

More on this story in the press release below.

PRESS RELEASE

Volvo Cars is restarting production at its Torslanda plant in Sweden on Monday (20 April), following a short period of downtime related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The company, which has taken the decision to reopen following a dialogue with relevant labour 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.

A constant, close dialogue with all partners and suppliers aims to secure continued production amid ongoing yet reducing disruptions in the supply chain. Production volumes in Torslanda will be adjusted to meet demand in the market as well as existing order books.

Before the return of staff on Monday, all facilities have been cleaned extensively, while sanitation and cleaning routines have been intensified and voluntary temperature and pulse oximeter checks will be offered at main entrances.

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.

In Swedish office buildings the layout in all meeting rooms, office spaces and restaurants has been adjusted where necessary to allow for social distancing, for example by ensuring that desks are placed appropriately and limiting the number of people allowed in meeting rooms and restaurants.

As for the other sites in Volvo Cars’ global manufacturing network, the Ghent, Belgium plant will also reopen on Monday 20 April, but at reduced production output. The company currently plans to reopen its South Carolina plant in the United States on Monday 11 May.

The engine plant in Skövde, Sweden and the body component manufacturing site in Olofström, Sweden will continue to plan their production on a weekly basis and adapt according to needs in the other plants.

Office workers in other markets will continue to follow local guidelines, but Volvo Cars health and safety officials hope that learnings from the Swedish facilities can be implemented elsewhere as well.

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 stabilise.

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