BUS AND TRUCK MANUFACTUERS SLOWLY RESTARTING PRODUCTION
Scania is currently preparing to restart production at Scania Production Zwolle and Scania Production Meppel both in the Netherlands and both truck plants. This restart is part of a major operation to restart the entire European production carefully and in phases. This includes the bus factories a Scania spokesman confirmed. Other manufacturers are also looking at possibilities to resume production.
In Zwolle, the production line for Scania trucks will be restarted on April 20 and the paint lines and spray booths in Meppel will be operational again from April 28. Zwolle is the biggest Scania production facility outside Sweden. In the first phase, Scania says the volumes will still be low and the primary focus will be on creating a safe working environment for employees and suppliers. Also next Monday, April 20, DAF Trucks will resume the production of trucks, cabs and axles in its Dutch factory in Eindhoven and in Belgium Westerlo. However, his is done carefully and at a slow pace, to see whether production can take place properly within the guidelines of the Dutch health organization overseeing the COVID-19 impact. The production lines will run at a slow pace trying out what is possible taking into account the hygiene, health and safety of employees.
The third manufacturer that will start up its operation is Volkswagen. It sees opportunities to put its factories around the world back to work in the coming weeks. Factories in Europe are kicking off, followed by those in the US, South Africa and Latin America. In Europe, Volkswagen resumes production next week (from 20 April) at its plants in Zwickau (Germany) and Bratislava (Slovakia). CNH Industrial announces that the majority of its European assembly operations will remain suspended until April 17, but logistics hubs, and the related industrial and supply operations, remain operational. Subsequent updates on European operations will be defined over the course of the coming weeks, based on COVID-19 developments. At Solaris production was still on but in a much slower pace facing also challenges and obstacles to face due to closed borders and suppliers delivering components.
Most factories shutdown their operations almost a month ago, like Scania on 20 March with a structured shutdown of the entire global production system. The Swedish truck and bus manufacturer now says the restart will be done in the same way: planned, structured and phased. Scania will continue to closely monitor and adjust the development and activities where the personal safety of the employees is paramount and according to the national guidelines of hygiene and social distancing. In addition, the many suppliers in Scania's extensive supply chain will also be closely monitored. The Scania service organization, including Scania Parts Logistics in Oudsbergen in Belgium and all Scania workshops in the Benelux, has remained operational.