Tuesday 17 March 2020 12:02 pm

Coronavirus:Volkswagen to cease production at European plants

Car giant VW will stop its European factory production.

This move, due to the impact of coronavirus, comes despite the company posting strong results for 2019.

Shares in the firm are up slightly, hovering at €97.65.

Read more: FTSE 100 slides after brief rebound following G7 coronavirus pledge

VW boss Herbert Diess, said: “the coronavirus pandemic presents us with unknown operational and financial challenges.

He added 2020 will be “very difficult.”

Diess said production will stop at cites in Portugal, Italy, Spain and Slovakia by the end of this week, which could last two to three weeks.

This comes as the company reopens some of its factories in China, as the country where the outbreak originates, begins to turn a corner.

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VW passenger cars sales revenue for 2019 was €88.5bn (£80.1bn), a 4.5 per cent increase one 2018.

Additionally, operating profit, before special items, grew €3.2bn to €3.8bn.

VW’s brands, which include Skoda, Porsche and Bentley, also increased their revenue for 2019.

Fiat Chrysler, Peugeot and Renault have also announced operations in Europe will be suspended.

Read more: Coronavirus could hit Bosch automotive supply chain in China, warns chief executive

Disruption in the car industry due to coronavirus began last month.

Nissan had to temporarily close on of its major factories in Japan because it could not source sufficient parts from China.

Leading car manufacturers including Tesla and Hyundai were also affected.

Markets and the oil price have recently recorded significant falls as uncertainty around the pandemic grows.