Volkswagen said it is extending the production shutdown at its German factories because of the decline in demand for vehicles and continuing challenges in the supply chain.
The automaker's car and components plants in its home market will remain closed until April 19, VW said in a statement on Tuesday.
VW said it is continuing to "make intensive preparations for the resumption of production." The protection of employees will be significantly strengthened, the automaker said.
"We are making good progress with our work on a very comprehensive package for a gradual ramp-up of production, which also includes a large number of additional measures relating to hygiene or distances between employees on the production line," VW brand's production and logistics chief, Andreas Tostmann, said in the statement.
The vehicle plants affected are in Dresden, Emden, Osnabrueck, Wolfsburg, Zwickau and Hanover. The component plants are in Brunswick, Kassel, Salzgitter, Chemnitz, Hanover component and the German plants of VW's car seat subsidiary SITECH.
VW had planned to reopen the factories on April 9. About 80,000 employees are affected by the production stop.