Germany’s automotive lobby group and the country’s largest union called on Chancellor Angela Merkel to allow car sales in the country to resume as soon as possible.
High inventory that can’t be sold is risking the bankruptcy of many companies in the industry, the VDA and IG Metall labor union said in a letter to the chancellor on Thursday that was also released as a statement. The VDIK importers group and ZDK dealer association also signed the letter.
“The companies cannot accommodate any more vehicles,” the groups said. “This means that delivery and production come to a standstill or cannot be started again.”
Dealerships can protect customers and employees against infection more easily than grocery stores, which remain open, because showrooms have comparatively large areas and a small number of customers present at the same time, the statement said.
German registrations slumped by 38 percent in March to 215,119 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Merkel has been talking with the automotive industry, which forms the backbone of the German economy, to find a way to restart production. The talks are focused on automotive suppliers that might not be able to survive extended production shutdowns.
Factory shutdowns triggered by the coronavirus crisis resulted in lost production of 1.47 million vehicles so far, European auto industry lobby group ACEA said in a separate statement.