Volkswagen production in Germany has been suspended for a further five working days until 19 April.

The automaker had said earlier it planned to end short-time working with the night shift of 9-10 April.

VW said the latest extension was the result of the “continued fall in demand for vehicles and the challenges still faced by the supply chain”.

It now plans to end the resulting short time working with the night shift of 19-20 April. The plants affected are Dresden, Emden, Osnabrueck, Wolfsburg and Zwickau as well as the commercial vehicles plant in Hanover and components factories at Brunswick, Kassel, Salzgitter, Chemnitz, Hanover and Sitech German plants.

Andreas Tostmann, production and logistics chief, said: “The health of our employees has the highest priority. We are making good progress with an extremely comprehensive package of measures for the staged run up of production. This also includes additional measures as regards hygiene and distances between employees on the production line.”