BMW to shut down South African factory for a month
Pretoria - This week has seen most European car manufacturers announce plans to temporarily shut their assembly plants in order to slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus and to prevent a situation of oversupply as global vehicle sales plummet.
BMW’s plan, however, also includes South Africa’s Rosslyn plant, which builds the X3 for both local consumption and export.
“Since yesterday: We began to shut down our European and Rosslyn automotive plants, which will close by the end of the week,” BMW board chairman Oliver Zipse said in a press conference in Germany.
“The interruption of production for the mentioned plants is currently planned to run until April 19.
“We will continue to ensure our ability to operate as a company. At the same time, we want to reduce the risk of infection for our employees,” Zipse added.
“We have therefore put a comprehensive package of measures into effect. For example, employees will be able to work from home, when it is possible and when it makes sense.”
The board chairman also pointed out that the company needed to adjust production volumes flexibly in line with demand, and that the company had “highly flexible and effective” work time instruments.
BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Volkswagen, Fiat Chrysler, Peugeot and Renault have all announced production shutdowns in Europe due to the virus.
Jaguar Land Rover, however, plans to keep building vehicles at its UK factories until at least the end of the week despite the impact from coronavirus.
"All of our UK plants remain open and we plan to keep building cars until at least the end of the week subject to the ongoing supply of parts," the company said.