Fleet News

Coronavirus: Skoda and BMW close car factories

BMW factory

Skoda and BMW have joined the growing number of manufacturers who have closed factories due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Skoda has suspended production at three Czech plants for an initial period of two weeks but has reopened its China plant, while manufacturing continues in India and Russia.

BMW has ceased manufacturing at its European and South African factories for four weeks.

They join several other car manufacturers who have halted car production, including Ford, Volkswagen and Nissan.

In a letter to its UK fleet customers, Rob East, general manager, corporate sales, at BMW Group UK, said: “Clearly this decision will have an impact on the delivery to our customers of vehicles which have not yet been built and entered into our logistics system.

“Once we are aware of the new production plan, and our car plants start to re-open, we will schedule customer orders as soon as possible.

“In the meantime, if any of the vehicles you have on order have already been built, they will be delivered to you, but this is of course dependent on ports and borders remaining open.

“Currently the BMW and Mini retailer network within the UK is operating as normal. We are also taking all measures possible to maintain continuity of parts and service.”

A statement from Skoda said its factories are being shut down in an orderly manner in close alignment with the supply chain to ensure a smooth process.

As things stand, operations are scheduled to recommence on April 6.

Skoda Auto CEO Bernhard Maier, said: “With 37,000 employees in the Czech Republic alone, our responsibility extends far beyond the factory gates.

“Everything must be done to slow the spread of the virus in order to protect and help those who will be particularly affected – most notably the elderly and people with underlying health conditions.

“In addition, the sales channels in most markets have also collapsed due to government measures.”


Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Login to comment


No comments have been made yet.

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee