Germany's Volkswagen said on Friday that it will suspend production at its four plants in Brazil owing to a surge in coronavirus infections in the country. The Wolfsburg-based firm said it will stop factories from March 24 for a 12-day period to protect the health of its employees and their families.
Volkswagen will pay about 36 million reais (US$ 6.5 million) in compensation and donations to atone for the persecution of former employees during Brazil's 1964-1985 military dictatorship, the automaker said.
The Argentine auto industry bottomed out in April, the first full month of the quarantine in force in the country since March 20. With all its factories closed since that day, not a single vehicle left the assembly lines, a catastrophe without historical precedent. But little by little, last week they came back to life under strict sanitary protocols, with only one shift per day and production at one-third of the installed capacity.
Carmakers Volkswagen hosted a ceremony in Puebla, Mexico, Wednesday to mark the discontinuation of the famed Beetle or Bug model as the last unit ever rolled off the assembly line to a mariachi band and surrounded by proud factory workers, the company announced.
The former chief executive of the carmaker Volkswagen has been charged in Germany over his involvement in the company's diesel emissions scandal. The public prosecutor in Braunschweig charged Martin Winterkorn and four other managers with fraud. VW said it would not comment on the indictments.
A German industrial dynasty with big stakes in various international brands has admitted brutality towards slave laborers during Nazi rule. A partner in JAB Holding, Peter Harf, said the Reimann family was shocked by links to Nazi abuses, discovered by the Bild am Sonntag newspaper in archives.
Car and light truck sales in Brazil went up 13.6% in 2018 from the previous year, cementing the industry’s gradual recovery from a deep recession. Brazil was one of the world’s five biggest auto markets until a recent downturn and, despite last year’s growth, numbers remain lower than at their peak in 2012.
German luxury automaker Audi will pay a fine of roughly US$930 million to settle regulatory action in its home country for rigging some of its diesel vehicles with illegal software designed to defeat emissions tests, the company said on Tuesday.
Toyota lost its crown as the world's top-selling automaker in 2016, company figures showed Monday, with the Japanese giant overtaken by Volkswagen as the industry prepares for an uncertain trade environment under Donald Trump. The German automaker moved back into the top spot despite being hit by a massive emissions cheating scandal that rocked its reputation.
The United States Justice Department has filed a federal lawsuit against Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche that seeks billions of dollars in penalties over claims that the car companies installed devices to deliberately misreport emissions. Nearly 600,000 diesel-engine vehicles were installed with these devices since 2009.