Production closures at Bentley and Volvo Cars

Worldwide
Published:  23 March, 2020
Bentley plant in Crewe, UK

Both automotive manufacturers are temporarily halting production in Europe and the U.S. due to the coronavirus spread. Meanwhile, Volvo Cars reopened its four manufacturing plants in China.

On March 20, Bentley Motors suspended production at its Crewe, UK, factory headquarters for four weeks. “This decision is based on the accelerated rate of infection by coronavirus and understandable restrictions applied, the resulting interruptions in supply chain that will soon be seen, as well as declining demand on some automotive markets.  But most importantly, the decision is to protect the health of Bentley’s many colleagues, their families and communities”, said the luxury cars manufacturer, adding that core business functions are to continue throughout the shutdown with colleagues either based in Crewe, following social distancing policies, or working remotely. Production at Bentley Crewe is not expected to start again before April 20.

Volvo Car said the coronavirus pandemic “is now severely affecting the company in many ways, in the form of a weakening market, a risk for production disruption as well as concerns for the employees”. Its Belgium plant located in Ghent is to remain closed until April 5, while the Swedish (Torslanda, Skövde and Olofströmand) and U.S. (South Carolina) plants will be closed between March 26 and April 14. People working in Volvo’s offices are to generally work from home as of March 26 and working hours will be reduced.

After an extended closure period, Volvo Cars reopened its four manufacturing plants in China. As of March 20, showroom traffic is indicating a return to normal in China’s car market, according to the car manufacturer.