German automotive multinationals Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz and US Ford and General Motors (GM) announced Thursday the temporary suspension of their production of vehicles in Brazil, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Volkswagen announced the three-week stoppage of its five units in the country starting next Monday as a “measure to preserve the health of its employees and families as a result of the advance of COVID-19.”
Mercedes-Benz, for its part, announced a scale of discounted hours bank breaks from next March 25 and collective vacations between the 30 of this month and April 22.
Like Volkswagen, but with no forecast of a return from its activities, Ford indicated that it will interrupt production in its three units as of Monday, due to the “reduction in consumer demand caused by this unprecedented situation.”
GM, meanwhile, confirmed collective vacations for “adjustments” of its “production” line in the four factories installed in Brazil, where the brand is the market leader and had launched this week the Tracker model, for which it had several workers doing overtime due to demand for the new car.
The National Association of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (Anfavea) of Brazil, the sector’s employer, also issued a statement on Thursday in which it indicated that all its associated companies are studying the “temporary stoppage of activities” due to the global health crisis.
Brazil has so far confirmed seven deaths from COVID-19, two in Rio de Janeiro and five registered in Sao Paulo, the most populous and most affected state by the disease, as well as 621 infected in most of the country’s 27 states.