Corona COVID-19 Virus Automotive News

In Coronavirus COVID-19 news are Toyota, Aston Martin, Volkswagen, Jaguar Land Rover and SEAT

Toyota to Re-Start NA Soon

Beginning the week of May 4, Toyota intends to gradually resume its North American manufacturing operations in compliance with federal health and safety guidelines, and local and state ordinances where our facilities are located. The health and safety of our employees and stakeholders remain a top priority and we have implemented new protocols at all of our North American manufacturing plants to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to follow all safety guidelines and monitor vehicle demand as we carefully ramp up production.

In connection with the resumption of production, the Volkswagen Group has developed measures ensuring the maximum level of health protection for its employees and is now implementing them at its plants. In order to provide the best possible support for the resumption of production and logistics processes in the coronavirus crisis by its more than 40,000 suppliers and several hundred logistics contractors throughout the world, the Group is making its concepts available to them with immediate effect.

Aston Martin Extends Warranty Services

Aston Martin acts to support warranty and service customers during COVID-19 lockdowns worldwide.

Aston Martin is working closely with its dealer network to help customers worldwide during the unprecedented lockdown conditions imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The brand is taking positive action to extend to 30 June 2020 all new-vehicle warranties that are due to expire, or have expired since 14 March 2020 or, in the case of China, since 1 January 2020. That is, broadly speaking, the period of lockdown in most countries where such conditions exist.

Furthermore, customers are being reassured the condition in their car’s Owner’s Guide stating that failure to adhere to specified service intervals may invalidate warranty coverage, is being waived until restrictions change and appropriate dealer operations are able to resume.

Aston Martin owners whose cars require a vehicle service during the disruption caused by COVID-19 are being assured that their warranty cover will be unaffected, and all cars serviced within three months or 2,000 miles (whichever is earlier) of the in-car service indicator will be protected in full by any applicable Aston Martin warranty.

As soon as restrictions change and Aston Martin dealer operations are resumed, owners of these cars with service work due are being asked to arrange a booking with their dealer. The cars will then have the scheduled service work completed by fully trained service technicians using genuine Aston Martin parts.

VW Will Resume Safely Making ID.3 EVs

The Volkswagen plant in Zwickau is gradually restarting production of electric cars. Production of the all-electric ID.3 resumes today (Thursday), initially with reduced capacity and significantly slower cycle times. Numerous additional measures to protect the health of the workforce are being implemented, and the restart is also oriented to the gradual stabilization of international supply chains. “We all have a historic task to accomplish. That task is to protect the health of our employees – and at the same time get business back on track responsibly”, said Thomas Ulbrich, Volkswagen Brand Board Member for E-Mobility and Speaker of the Management Board of Volkswagen Sachsen.

According to Ulbrich, the present challenging situation calls for new priorities: “At Volkswagen, health takes precedence over speed. That is why the primary concern at the moment is not how many cars can be built per day. What is more important is that the e-mobility transformation process already underway begins gathering pace again today. The ID.3 is one of the key vehicle projects for Volkswagen.”

In the first ramp-up phase, 50 of the ID.3 will be produced per day in Zwickau at reduced speed, corresponding to approximately one third of the production volume prior to the corona pandemic. Zwickau is Volkswagen’s first vehicle plant in Germany to cautiously resume production following the stoppage that began in mid-March. Some units at components plants have already recommenced the supply of parts, accompanied by appropriate protective measures. Production has also already resumed at almost all Volkswagen plants in China.

The Chemnitz engine plant will also begin gradually ramping up production today, Thursday, April 23. This will be followed by the phased resumption of Golf Variant production at Zwickau on Monday, April 27. On the same day, the Gläserne Manufaktur Dresden will recommence production of the e-Golf at reduced capacity; customers have been able to collect their new cars in Dresden since April 20..

JLR Manufacturing Gradually Returns in UK

Jaguar Land Rover plans to gradually resume production from 18th May, starting with manufacturing plants in Solihull in the UK as well as in Slovakia and Austria.

In China, we are beginning to see recovery in vehicle sales and customers are returning to our showrooms. Our joint venture plant in Changshu has been in operation since the middle of February.

As countries are relaxing distancing guidelines and retailers are reopening around the world, the restart of production at our other plants will be confirmed in due course.

The health and wellbeing of our employees is our first priority. We are developing robust protocol and guidelines to support a safe return to work. We will adopt strict social distancing measures across our business and are currently evaluating a number of different measures to ensure we protect and reassure our workforce when they begin to return to work.

We continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and follow the guidance of all relevant authorities in the markets in which we operate.

Jaguar Land Rover is doing whatever it can to support its communities through the current situation. The company’s thoughts are with those directly affected by COVID-19 and with the healthcare professionals, whose role in combating this virus is appreciated by all.

SEAT Back to Work with PCR Testing

SEAT will carry out PCR tests on its 15,000 employees to ensure their health and safety and avoid COVID-19 infections. The carmaker has decided today to gradually restart activity on April 27th, and as part of the health and safety measures, has agreed with the union representatives to conduct PCR testing to screen for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. PCR diagnostic tests are the most reliable to identify whether the person screened has contracted the COVID-19 virus.

SEAT is the first company in Spain to do this testing. Specifically, there will be more than 3,000 weekly PCR tests for production employees at SEAT Martorell, SEAT Barcelona, SEAT Componentes and CROS (SEAT Spare Parts Centre), as well as for the rest of professionals in the company, and will be extended to other Volkswagen Group companies in Spain. This morning SEAT began testing in three treatment units in the CARS healthcare centre (Martorell), SEAT Barcelona and SEAT Componentes facilities.

A laboratory that has been accredited by the Ministry of Health and the Catalan Government will analyse the tests without affecting public health activities and will be coordinated by SEAT’s Medical Service, supervised by Dr. Bonaventura Clotet, director of IrsiCaixa and member of SEAT’s Scientific Committee. These tests are part of a comprehensive package of preventive measures aimed at safeguarding the health and safety of the employees.