Volkswagen asked to reopen the local plant next Monday

Volkswagen Argentina (VW) proposed to the Ministry of Productive Development of the Nation to reopen its two plants in Argentina: the box factory in Córdoba and the vehicle factory in Pacheco, Buenos Aires province.

Like all metalworking companies in the country, with the exception of agricultural machinery factories, these plants have remained closed since the social, preventive and compulsory isolation ordered by the national government to stop the advance of Covid-19 began.

The idea presented to the owner of that portfolio, Matías Kulfas, is to start the production of the MQ-250 boxes starting next Monday 27 with 40% of its workforce, that is, with 450 workers. Meanwhile, the following week the production of vehicles in Buenos Aires territory would start.

According to Antonio Quintana, general secretary of the Córdoba branch of Smata, workers and managers are awaiting a decision by the national government. He clarified that, if the resolution is favorable, the activity in the Cordovan plant will begin to reactivate “little by little.”

The German capital company and Smata technicians designed a health and safety protocol to minimize the chances of the virus entering the industrial plant.

Among these rules, it is established that the operators will work 1.5 meters apart, with all the elements for hygiene and disinfection (water, gel alcohol, among others) and keeping the workers of over 60 years.

In addition, a procedure is established on how they should arrive at the factory. They should preferably do it by vehicle, with no more than two people per unit, and if they travel by public transport, do it in units without many people. In all cases you must use a chinstrap.

Upon entering the plant located in Circunvalación and O’Higgins, the fever will be controlled, there will be disinfection of footwear and then the operators will change clothes.

Procedures are missing

The Córdoba Industrial Center exports about 90 percent of its gearbox production to different Volkswagen plants around the world. Precisely, the export industry was authorized by the Executive Power to resume its activities.

As Germany, one of the countries that is emerging best from the coronavirus pandemic, began to normalize the pace of its economy, its subsidiaries began to move.

The problem is that the Ministry of Productive Development did not finish defining the procedures to determine which companies or items will resume production after quarantine.

The Ministry of Industry of Córdoba must also participate in this process.

Therefore, until yesterday there was some caution in officially confirming the return to production from next Monday.

If approved, it will lay the foundations for other local automakers, since only CNH Industrial works, assembling agricultural machinery.

In any case, the automotive industry in the world is slowly recovering. Therefore, those who know inside the VW plant warn that the production of the other box, the MQ-200, would only start in June.

The quarantine could also delay progress in manufacturing the new MQ-281 box, which should already be in the process of being assembled if the coronavirus had not broken in. This project, in which the company invested 150 million dollars, is key to the future of the Cordovan plant where 1,200 workers work.

Beds in Ferreyra FCA and New Man

They set up a medical center in the factory club.

Fiat Chrysler Automobile (FCA) and Hombre Nuevo, an organization that provides food for elderly people on the street, began to assemble beds in the automaker’s club in the Ferreyra neighborhood, where a health care center will operate. The initiative will be officially presented in the coming days. Some of the beds are being assembled on the terminal floor itself.

Print edition

The original text of this article was published on 04/22/2020 in our printed edition.