In early March the world was overcome with fear for the Corona Virus, causing many businesses, companies, cities, and even entire countries to shut down almost completely. For many car manufacturers, this meant shutting down all production facilities, engineering, and design teams, and telling many other critical employees to stay home.
This was also true for the popular luxury and sports car manufacturer, Audi, and had many of their dealerships closed worldwide. This month, however, the Ingolstadt facility is scheduled to reopen and begin production once again, with some additional precautions put in place to minimize worker’s risk.
Audi Ingolstadt reopens
The facility, that closed in mid-March, stopping all production for that Audi factory, has, of course, affected the Audi production for this quarter and year overall. This paired with decreasing demand and inability for new car purchases that hurt no only Audi but many other car manufacturers as well.
Audi is working hard to protect their workers in their facilities as well. The Ingolstadt location has made some critical changes to their operations in preparation for their reopening. For one thing, there is now a plastic hygiene barrier that runs between assembly line workers that are across from each other to minimize any potential hazards.
Besides the assembly line, other critical areas of production have gone back to work as well, including body shop employees, paint techs, and the press shop crews. So far Audi in Ingolstadt has brought back about 1,500 workers.
With dealerships closed, many owners were unable to bring their cars in for servicing, maintenance, or repairs. This includes any repairs that would be covered by the new car warranty or by the extended warranty. Luckily for Audi owners who have warranties expiring at this time, Audi has offered them the ability to extend their warranty.
Like many other car manufacturers, Audi is fighting an uphill battle. Production numbers may be much lower this quarter, but it doesn’t make a significant difference in many countries where purchasing a new car isn’t an option at this time. While some countries or states have deemed car dealerships essential, many people have been struggling with the financial burden of government-mandated shutdowns.
Audi executives say that they are preparing for the worst and anticipating a steady decrease in profits. While their factories may be reopening slowly, Audi still expected a lower production rate, as the already anticipated decline in demand has already started to rear its head.
Regardless, the Audi teams for design and development are still working hard on future designs and products for when the market becomes more stable and they are able to begin production and sales at a full scale.