MADRID -- Volkswagen Group Spanish subsidiary Seat is considering temporary layoffs at its Martorell plant, near Barcelona, as the coronavirus spreads globally, a company spokesman told Reuters on Wednesday.
The company is facing potential supply chain issues due to the outbreak, said the spokesman, who declined to comment on the duration of the possible temporary layoffs.
"The Martorell plant is currently working normally. However, there are several risks derived from COVID-19, which has affected the supply chain," the spokesman said.
Seat would make temporary layoffs if it had to cut production due to supply issues, he said.
Seat union representative Matias Carnero said the company's supply chain was being affected by the worsening coronavirus outbreak, which has hit China and Italy particularly hard.
"It all looks like it is going to be requested," said Carnero, a representative for UGT, the main labor union at Seat, referring to the potential temporary layoffs.
The temporary layoffs would last between two and five weeks, Carnero said.
About 7,000 people work at the plant. Under temporary layoffs, Spanish workers are normally paid part of their salary.
Seat builds the Ibiza, Leon, and Arona alongside the Audi A1 Sportback in Martorell, according to Automotive News Europe's Assembly Plant Map.
Italian brake maker Brembo warned on Tuesday that its northern Italian production was under threat from the country's restrictions to tackle the spread of the coronavirus.