Volvo, Daimler make adjustments

Volvo tells Financial Times its business in China getting back to 'normal'

Launch of the New Volvo S60 in Charleston, South Carolina

Two more automakers with Southern connections are adjusting their production schedules in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Swedish carmaker Volvo said Friday it would close its plant in South Carolina from March 26 until April 14.

“Our primary concerns are the health of our employees and the future of our business,” Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson told Reuters. “I think for the economy, we need to do something drastic, rather than trying half-hearted measures that drag on forever.”

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“We are seeing the effect from this coronavirus is increasing every day. We see problems in the logistics supply side,” he told Reuters. “We have to help contributing to social distancing.”

Bloomberg reported Thursday, meanwhile, that Daimler AG’s sport utility vehicle factory in Alabama may be forced to suspend operations because of a shortage of parts coming from Europe, according to a notice sent to workers.

The Mercedes-Benz maker has canceled overtime at one part of the Alabama assembly plant and moved to a six-hour shift at another, said Michael Goebel, the president and chief executive officer of the operation. He wrote employees after Daimler announced Tuesday it would halt most of its output in Europe for at least two weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On a more optimistic note, Volvo Cars told the Financial Times on Friday that its business in China is returning to “normal.” China saw the first Covid-19 cases but has recently reported that new cases are declining there.



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