Volvo Cars is restarting production at its Torslanda plant in Sweden on Monday (20 April), following a short period of downtime related to the coronavirus pandemic.
The company, which has taken the decision to reopen following a dialogue with relevant labour unions, will also welcome back office workers to its Swedish offices on Monday. Both the plant and offices have been prepared in recent weeks to be as safe as possible for people to return in a way that safeguards their health.
A constant, close dialogue with all partners and suppliers aims to secure continued production amid ongoing yet reducing disruptions in the supply chain. Production volumes in Torslanda will be adjusted to meet demand in the market as well as existing order books.
“We have a responsibility towards our employees and our suppliers to restart operations now that the situation allows it,” said Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive. “The best thing we can do to help society is to find ways to restart the company in a safe way, thereby safeguarding people’s health and their jobs.”
Before the return of staff on Monday, all facilities have been cleaned extensively, while sanitation and cleaning routines have been intensified and voluntary temperature and pulse oximeter* checks will be offered at main entrances.
In recent weeks, company officials have reviewed every single working station in the Torslanda plant from a health and safety perspective, and where social distancing is not possible, other protective measures have been put in place.
In Swedish office buildings the layout in all meeting rooms, office spaces and restaurants has been adjusted where necessary to allow for social distancing, for example by ensuring that desks are placed appropriately and limiting the number of people allowed in meeting rooms and restaurants.
As for the other sites in Volvo Cars’ global manufacturing network, the Ghent, Belgium plant will also reopen on Monday 20 April, but at reduced production output. The company currently plans to reopen its South Carolina plant in the United States on Monday 11 May.
The engine plant in Skövde, Sweden and the body component manufacturing site in Olofström, Sweden will continue to plan their production on a weekly basis and adapt according to needs in the other plants.
Office workers in other markets will continue to follow local guidelines, but Volvo Cars health and safety officials hope that learnings from the Swedish facilities can be implemented elsewhere as well.
Volvo Cars will continue to make use of the support package introduced by the Swedish government earlier this year, which means a continued reduction of working time for most employees. The welcome support by the government allows Volvo Cars to protect its fundamentally healthy business until markets stabilise.
Notes to Editor
* Pulse oximeters test the amount of oxygen in the blood.
Volvo Car Group in 2019
For the 2019 financial year, Volvo Car Group recorded an operating profit of 14.3 BSEK (14.2 BSEK in 2018). Revenue over the period amounted to 274.1 BSEK (252.7 BSEK). For the full year 2019, global sales reached a record 705,452 (642,253) cars, an increase of 9.8 per cent versus 2018. The results underline the comprehensive transformation of Volvo Cars’ finances and operations in recent years, positioning the company for its next growth phase.
About Volvo Car Group
Volvo Cars was founded in 1927. Today, it is one of the most well-known and respected premium car brands in the world with sales of 705,452 cars in 2019 in about 100 countries. Volvo Cars has been under the ownership of the Zhejiang Geely Holding since 2010.
In 2019, Volvo Cars employed on average approximately 41,500 (41,500) full-time employees. Volvo Cars head office, product development, marketing and administration functions are mainly located in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo Cars head office for APAC is located in Shanghai. The company’s main car production plants are located in Gothenburg (Sweden), Ghent (Belgium), South Carolina (US), Chengdu and Daqing (China), while engines are manufactured in Skövde (Sweden) and Zhangjiakou (China) and body components in Olofström (Sweden).
Under its new company purpose, Volvo Cars aims to provide customers with the Freedom to Move in a personal, sustainable and safe way. This purpose is reflected into a number of business ambitions: for example, by the middle of this decade it aims for half of its global sales to be fully electric cars and to establish five million direct consumer relationships. Volvo Cars is also committed to an ongoing reduction of its carbon footprint, with the ambition to be a climate-neutral company by 2040.
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