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COVID-19 KILLING DEMAND

In a disturbing indicator of what will probably also be the shape of things to come for motorcycle manufacturers, Volkswagen has begun to close down some car assembly lines again, after restarting production in Germany from 27 April onwards. A desperate lack of demand across Europe was cited as the reason.

Around 8000 production workers had returned to Volkswagen’s huge Wolfsburg HQ factory at the end of last month, following installation of measures to protect them from coronavirus spread. And, altogether, nearly 45,000 VW employees have resumed full or part-time activities at various German plants.   

But now the company is to temporarily cease making its best-selling Golf 7 and 8 compact models, along with VW Tiguan and Seat Tarraco SUVs. A spokesman said this would “align production to expected market fluctuations”. In other words, dealers don’t want inventory because nobody is buying.

Volvo’s European factories have cut back to a three-day working week too, given demand was reportedly down to less than a third of pre-pandemic levels.     

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