Having earlier announced a production suspension from 21 March to 10pm Sunday, 29 March, Volkswagen said its US plant in Chattanooga will now remain closed next week, extending the shutdown period to 10pm, Sunday 5 April.

"We will continue to provide full pay next week for all team members at the factory. Employees who are able to telework, such as office staff, will continue to do so. We're asking all employees to self-quarantine and maintain social distancing as directed by the CDC," the automaker said in a statement.

"We will continue to monitor the situation and will take any and all additional steps as they become necessary, communicating updates as they are available."

VW earlier said it would extend production suspension at its German plants for a further four days until 9 April. The suspension includes its assembly and component making plants. The automaker said it was responding to the "fall in demand on the automobile market and the challenges faced by the supply chain" but hoped to start making vehicles again "soon".