Volvo to stop output at Belgian factory

Automotive Industry

Source: Automotive News Europe, 2020-03-17

Volvo will temporarily stop production at its plant in Ghent, Belgium, the company said.

The halt, which started Tuesday afternoon, was caused by a combination of a shortage of workers and government efforts to shut down nearly all non-critical operations to slow the spread of the coronavirus, a Volvo spokeswoman said in an email to Automotive News Europe.

The factory makes the automakers's strong-selling XC40 compact SUV and V60 midsize station wagon.

Ghent will also be the site of Volvo's first production line for battery packs, which will go into the full-electric XC40 Recharge. Production of the automaker's first battery-powered model is still on track to start in September despite the shutdown, the spokeswoman said.

Volvo provided no timetable for when the factory might reopen, citing the uncertainty around the coronavirus outbreak.

Production at Volvo's Swedish plants in Torslanda (vehicle assembly), Skovde (powertrains) and Olofstrom (body components) has not been affected so far.

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