Volvo Cars to close plants in U.S. and Sweden due to coronavirus

Images of Volvo Concept 40 Series EV Electric

Volvo Cars is suspending production at its factories located in Sweden, the United States and Belgium, to deal with the spread of the coronavirus, the company stated on Friday, even as it restarts manufacturing in China where the infection rate has decreased.

Volvo’s Swedish factories located in Torslanda, Skovde, Olofstrom, and its U.S. plant in South Carolina will be closed between March 26 and April 14, the company stated. Its plant in Ghent, Belgium has already been temporarily closed.

“Our primary concerns are the health of our workers and the future of our business,” Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson stated. “I think for the economy, we need to do something drastic, instead of trying half-hearted measures that drag on forever.”

“We are seeing the effect from this coronavirus is spreading every day. We see problems in the logistics supply side,” he informed Reuters. “We have to help contributing to social distancing.”

Samuelsson stated the financial impact of the shutdown would become more clear when the automaker published first-half revenues. The company will decrease the working hours of white-collar staff during the factory shut downs and will take benefits of government incentives, Samuelsson said.

The financial impact on the automaker also depended on how different countries responded to contain the virus.

“There is a big difference between countries. Some have curfews, with restaurants and schools closed. In other nations there are less drastic measures. I just think we need to synchronize that more.”

Coronavirus has so far infected over 297,553 people and killed 12,777 worldwide.

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