After Volvo and Mercedes-Benz, another premium manufacturer is restarting production. Audi is ready to get back to normality with gradual restart of its European plants.
In mid-March, the company announced the temporary suspension of production at its European sites. The background to the decision was supply bottlenecks and a drop in demand due to the corona pandemic. The upcoming regulated restart in the worldwide Audi production network together with suppliers and service providers will be coordinated with the Volkswagen Group. The main component of the restart is a comprehensive package of measures that focuses on the safety of employees. In this respect, Audi is following the guidelines of the Robert Koch Institute and the regulations of the health authorities of the respective country.
Managers of production sections and groups, together with experts from occupational safety, health care, industrial engineering and the works council, have looked at each individual workplace, analysed it and developed suggestions for improvement. Only with the agreement of all those involved is a workplace considered “corona-ready.” The workgroup also took a close look at the working environment: group spaces, factory gates, parking spaces and internal factory traffic, as well as catering and factory restaurants. Audi has developed appropriate solutions for all areas. The employees will be informed in writing about these measures in advance and will receive comprehensive safety instructions from their line managers when they restart their work, as well as regular updates in internal online media and through numerous information notices at the plants.
Comprehensive safety precautions and modified work regulations also apply at office workplaces. For example, there is the possibility of working from home in order to minimize the risk of infection. Above all, however, the restart affects the employees in the area of production.
Vehicle production at the Audi sites will be gradually ramped up from the end of April onwards according to a fixed plan. Engine production in Győr already started gradually ramping up again this week. For those employees at the factories in Germany who will only be able to resume their work fully in later phases of the restart, short-time working regulations will continue to apply until then.