"If the car industry is unable to get back on track soon after Easter, many smaller suppliers will face bankruptcy," he says.

The longer the corona crisis lasts, the louder industry calls will grow for politicians finally to name a date to ease the shutdowns to provide some planning security for businesses.

They expressed their desire for greater safety in planning for the industry, and also their hope that Germany could become a trailblazer for economic recovery in Europe.

Car companies are also looking to fundamentally restructure their manufacturing operations for now.

On Tuesday of this week, the company allowed its first 1,700 employees to start producing individual components at a handful of plants in order to ensure production in China - the only place in the world where the assembly lines of the company are currently in operation.

VW is dependent on hundreds of suppliers in Italy for mass production in Europe, from which the company is buying important components such as valves and injection pumps.

Most of the European automotive industry, including manufacturers and suppliers of parts, will only be able to resume significant production after countries such as Italy, Spain, Slovakia and Poland relax their public-life restrictions.

This would mean for German manufacturers that they will only be able to start production again on a larger scale in May.

BMW and Ford Europe have already stated that early May would be the earliest point at which production could reboot.

German car companies are calling for improved coordination at EU level, in response.

Suppliers, in turn, can only start production when the car companies receive binding orders, which is nearly impossible right now.

Companies don't even feel for what demand might be like at the moment, because every car dealer in Germany has been closed since mid-March.

Two weeks ago, car industry bosses took advantage of their call with the chancellor to propose a cash-for-clunkers scrapping incentive for older petrol and diesel vehicles.

From the perspective of CEOs at carmakers, it would make a lot of sense to reintroduce the incentive program because passenger cars in Germany are an average of almost 10 years old.

Five years after the diesel scandal, anger over the scams of the automobile industry seems to have dissipated in large part.

Car manufacturers argue that any car that a customer purchases after shutdown is vital, irrespective of whether it has an electric or a combustion engine.

It'll probably take years before the industry reaches the levels of production seen in the 2017 record year.

Read the original article "German Carmakers Prepare for Ramp Up Production - DER SPIEGEL -" at https://www.spiegel.de/international/business/german-carmakers-prepare-to-restart-production-a-3a4e72d7-0284-4203-882b-438083ef2c5e