Volkswagen is preparing to suspend production across Europe as the continent struggles to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
The German car giant said Tuesday that production at its plants in Spain, Portugal and Slovakia will be halted before the end of the week. Factories in Italy that make Lamborghini super cars and Ducati motorcycles will also be idled.
Most of the group’s other German and European plants are preparing to suspend production, probably for two weeks.
The company said factories producing Volkswagen branded cars would shut down starting late on Thursday. Volkswagen, which also owns brands including Skoda, Audi, Porsche and Bugatti, delivered 10.8 million vehicles to customers in 2019, more than any other carmaker.
Roughly 44% of the group’s 668,000 employees live in Germany, where the company is a leading force in the country’s huge manufacturing sector.