Audi's main plant in Ingolstadt, Germany, has finally restarted production.
After being shut down since March, Germany's car industry is gradually restarting production amid the coronavirus pandemic. Production of the Volkswagen Golf restarted this week and Porsche will reopen its factories in Germany next week on May 4. VW will also continue ramping up production next week.
Now, Audi is the latest German manufacturer to restart its operations. As of today, production at Audi's main plant in Ingolstadt, Germany, has restarted on a single assembly line. The automaker's Ingolstadt plant builds the Audi A3, Audi A4, Audi A5, and Audi Q2.
As a safety precaution, the assembly line is separated by a plastic sheet. Initially, production will only be operated on a single shift.
Upstream processes such as press shop, body shop, and paint shop also gradually started at the beginning of the week. Around 1,500 employees have returned to work this week to restart car production in Ingolstadt, but it will take time before production can ramp up. Audi is following government health guidelines to reduce the spread of the virus and protect the health of its workers.
For example, employees are working on modified shift patterns to reduce contact with each other. In areas where it's not possible to keep a safe distance of 1.5 - 2 meters, mouth and nose protection is compulsory.
At the time of writing, Audi's second German plant in Neckarsulm that manufactures the Audi A4, Audi A5, Audi A6, Audi A7 and Audi A8 models is still shut, as are the automaker's facilities in Belgium, Spain, Slovakia, Mexico and Hungary. The Audi e-tron is built in Belgium, while the best-selling Audi Q5 crossover is built in Mexico. Now that Audi's main plant has resumed production, it's surely only a matter of time before BMW and Mercedes start reopening production plants in Germany.