Coronavirus: Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port factory begins plans to reopen

Published 20 April 2020

Following an unprecedented shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic, Groupe PSA's Ellesmere Port site is looking to reopen.

Ellesmere Port’s Management team has invited the Unite Union (which represents plant employees) to make a final review of the new safety protocols, before a resumption of manufacturing activity can begin. The new safety measures include face masks for workers and the enforcement of social distancing between factory staff. 

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Audi has also today (21 April) announced plans to gradually initiate the restart of production at its plants in Europe during the coming weeks. 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.

Like Vauxhall, Audi is also implementing further safety measures which include a modified shift system to avoid contact and the obligation to use mouth and nose protection in areas where distances of 1.5 metres are not possible.

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.

As reported last week, Toyota is  set to continue production at plants in France and Poland from next Wednesday (22 April), although at a reduced rate - using a single shift rather than a three-shift strategy.

Hyundai, too, has already resumed production at its Czech plant, while Volvo is opening its Torslanda plant in Sweden today (20 April).

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