Volkswagen Group has been slowly ramping its production back up in Europe over the past week. As of today, May 4, Bugatti announced it had officially restarted production at its plant in Molsheim, France. Like other automakers are planning, the company is not putting all its workers back at the factory at the same time. Instead, it’s staggering the number of employees who need to be at the plant with those who can still work from home.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has shifted show manufacturing plants have to accommodate their workers. Now, every employee gets their own mask to be worn at all times on the premises. That’s on top of Bugatti’s requirement to keep employees at least 1-1/2 meters (about 5 feet) apart and have them frequently wash their hands. The company said it would also keep up contactless deliveries, wherever possible.
“I am confident that we have implemented the right measures to allow us to resume production in stages, while also providing the maximum possible protection for employees”, said Bugatti presdient Stephan Winkelmann. Employees are also being asked to check their temperatures daily before coming to work.
A sign of what’s to come in the industry
Bugatti isn’t alone in restarting its plants Monday. Ferrari, Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce also reopened on May 4, moving in at least a limited capacity with plans to ramp back up throughout the coming weeks.
American automakers are still mostly shut down until mid-May. With cases topping 1.2 million in the United States and deaths nearing 70,000 from COVID-19, the Big Three — Fiat Chrysler, Ford and General Motors — are taking small steps toward rebooting their factories. Beyond those who are working to produce ventilators, face masks and other protective equipment, skeleton crews are being recalled to begin the necessary steps to restart production in the next few weeks.