Valmet Automotive says it has restarted car production this week at its Uusikaupunki, Finland car plant.

Production has been suspended since April 3 due to lack of components caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. All Valmet Automotive plants are now operative, including the battery plant in Salo, Finland and the roof and kinematic systems plant in Zary, Poland.

Valmet said it has experienced component shortages, leading to production halts and furloughs. However, as automotive supply chains have resumed their activity in recent weeks, Valmet Automotive says it has now ensured component deliveries for all production sites.

Both the Uusikaupunki car plant and the Salo battery plant aim to increase production volumes on a ‘fast schedule after restart’. Valmet said both plants are scheduled to operate at full capacity from August, after the summer vacation season.

At the production restart, special attention is beeing paid to measures and instructions that create a safe working environment for personnel, the company said, including mandatory face masks and coronavirus-related training and the possibility to test workers for coronavirus.

Even before the restart, all visits to the car and battery plants had been banned, business travelling restricted, hand-sanitizer commonly available, remote working recommended, meetings arranged online or by phone, and personnel actively informed about the company measures against the coronavirus.

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Valmet said its production halt was relatively short, which ‘strengthens our outlook for this year’. “Our solutions are in line with those of OEMs or even at a higher level,” says Pasi Rannus, SVP, Manufacturing, Valmet Automotive.

The Valmet Uusikaupunki plant assembles the GLC and A-Class models for Mercedes, the two models being flexibly produced on the same line.

Valmet Automotive manufactured a total of 114,000 vehicles at the Uusikaupunki plant in 2019 – a new record for the company.