FILE PHOTO: Workers leave Skoda Auto factory after the company stopped the production for the next two weeks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic, March 18, 2020. REUTERS/David W Cerny/File Photo
PRAGUE (Reuters) – Czech carmaker Skoda Auto, part of the Volkswagen Group (VOWG_p.DE), will extend a stoppage at its domestic plants to April 14 from an original return date of April 6, the company said on Friday.
Skoda is the country’s largest exporter and suspended production on March 18 as part of measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus that has put most of Europe on lockdown.
VW, the world’s biggest carmaker, has stopped production at other factories across Europe as the coronavirus pandemic hits sales and disrupts supply chains.
The Czech government has shut borders, most shops and restaurants and restricted people’s movement as part of its emergency response.
The first detections of the virus in the country came on March 1 and as of Friday morning the health ministry had reported 2,062 cases, along with nine deaths.
Reporting by Jason Hovet; Editing by Edmund Blair