Volkswagen has scheduled a period of short-time working in some sections of its German plants for ‘week 9’ (23-27 February) in a move affecting about two-thirds of its 92,000 workers in Germany.

Research and development and production of some components, such as low-emissions engines, are not affected.

Work will resume with the night shift on Sunday, 1 March and continue on a regular three shift basis from then, the automaker said in a statement.

VW human resources head for Germany, Jochen Schumm, said: “Volkswagen operates a highly flexible working system across the group. We are now also making use of a five-day short-time working period. This temporary curb in production marks the continuation of our systematic and disciplined approach to bringing production capacity into line with demand.”

Works council chairman Bernd Osterloh said “the current market situation naturally impacts on our colleagues. Overtime accounts have already been largely run down.

“That is why the works council has approved the company’s application for short time working. Our colleagues will not be put at a disadvantage because the company will be topping up short-time working benefit.”