Volkswagen reduces output due to low demand

Volkswagen Group will reduce output this month as consumer demand for new cars remains low in Europe, the company says.

At its main plant in Wolfsburg, production will cease for four days on 15, 20, 25 and 29 May, Kallanish notes. VW will temporarily halt production on two assembly lines that make the Tiguan, Touran and Seat Tarraco models, and cancel one shift at a separate line that produces the Golf hatchback.

“We have to keep operating flexibly depending on customers’ vehicle orders,” the carmaker says. “We hope the situation will normalise as soon as possible.”

The German carmaker says that while sales in China exceeded the prior-year level in April, it will keep adjusting output to demand until sales in Europe pick up.

Germany’s car lobby has been calling for the government to reintroduce a scrappage bonus scheme. This was last implemented in 2009 during the last financial crisis and led to a record year for car sales in the country. However, a meeting last week between VW, BMW and Daimler executives and Chancellor Angela Merkel ended without a commitment to such a scheme. A further announcement is expected in June.

VW restarted output at Wolfsburg after a six-week break on 27 April under strict hygiene regulations (see Kallanish passim). The remaining plants in Germany as well as in Portugal, Spain, Russia, South Africa and South America followed.