Rolls-Royce To Shut Production At Goodwood For 1 Month Over Coronavirus Pandemic
Britain’s Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has announced that the luxury automaker will suspend production at the Goodwood manufacturing facility in the UK for two weeks starting from March 23, 2020. Furthermore, the automaker will keep the facility closed for an additional two week period for the pre-planned Easter maintenance shutdown. The decision to close the plant arises due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus globally, which has affected production and supply of components to automakers. Moreover, the virus is posing a major health risk, given its airborne nature. With the UK reporting over 2600 cases and about 71 deaths, the country has had to take strict measures to contain the virus.
Torsten Muller-Otvos, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said, “This action has not been taken lightly, but the health and well-being of our exceptional workforce is first and foremost in our minds. We are a tight-knit community at the Home of Rolls-Royce and I have no doubt that our resilience will shine through during this extraordinary time. As a deeply customer-focused company we are aware that this decision to pause our production will possibly cause some discomfort or inconvenience to a few of our esteemed patrons, for which we apologise while seeking their understanding at this difficult time.”
Rolls-Royce’s Goodwood plant employs about 2000 personnel with each of the cars hand-built
Meanwhile, Rolls-Royce has said that day-to-day operations of the company will be assured by non-production employees who will remain at work at the company’s head office on the Goodwood Estate or who will work from home on a rotational basis. The company has engaged social distancing measures, it said in a statement.
More recently, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked automakers including Rolls-Royce, Ford and Honda to build medical equipment to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. The UK government also said it will take support from the defence industry to build healthcare equipment to meet the increasing number of cases. Apart from Rolls-Royce, Nissan, BMW and Toyota among others have also announced plant closures in the UK, leaving Jaguar Land Rover and Honda with operational facilities. The closure will affect about 17,000 employees and production across the auto sector.
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