Sean Gallup | Getty Images News | Getty Images
German carmaker Volkswagen has announced it is preparing to temporarily shut down most of its European plants in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Chief Executive Herbert Diess said the company would shut down production at factories operated by the group’s brands “in the near future,” with most European plants set to suspend work for at least two weeks.
Production at Volkswagen plants in Spain, Slovakia and Italy would all be halted before the end of the week, Diess added.
It comes shortly after the world’s largest carmaker by sales warned 2020 would be a “very difficult year,” with the coronavirus outbreak posing “unknown operational and financial challenges.”
As of Tuesday, more than 182,000 cases of the coronavirus have been reported worldwide, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, with 7,155 deaths.
Last week, the WHO recognized Europe as the epicenter of the outbreak, with many…