VW plans two brief production outages for Golf this year.
Marc Stern's picture

There Are Lots of Reasons To Tweak VW Production Schedules, Sometimes It’s Just Balance

Volkswagen plans two short production outages this year. According to the automaker, the stoppages in the production of the Golf are to help balance production.
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So, why do you think Volkswagen is cutting back on production a bit? The cuts are coming in the highly popular Golf line, the automaker’s biggest-seller in Europe. Do you think it could be fallout from Dieselgate? After all, sales of turbodiesels are still on hold in the U.S., a market the automaker had hoped to make a key in its marketing strategy. Doesn’t the sale halt reflect the goings-on in the U.S.?

Honestly, no it doesn’t have anything to do with Dieselgate, at all (though there are probably those who would like to link the two – it doesn’t and can’t track). It has to do with production tweaks the automaker builds into its production runs to keep things in balance.

Automaker Confirms The Report

The German weekly Bild reported the production suspension Saturday, and Volkswagen confirmed the report was right, with a slight reservation.

VW plans two, three-day shutdowns, one from Oct. 4-7 and a second from Dec. 19-22, for a total production halt of six days. The action at the automaker’s Wolfsburg headquarters is aimed at balancing overproduction earlier this summer.

According to the automaker, the stoppages are standard operating procedure. The automaker regularly tweaks production. This year, VW said, workers kept up production, even during the July summer shutdown and the short stoppages are needed.

The automaker denied part of the Bild story. Bild had reported that VW had expected to build 15,000 fewer Golfs than were initially planned at the start of the year. VW said that piece of the story was not entirely accurate. VW said it is producing the number of Golfs that had been planned, not less.

Golf Best-Seller In Europe

That would make sense as the Golf compact is the best-selling car in Europe. Through the first of July, VW sold 261,776 Golfs in European markets. The number is up one percent over the same period in 2015. JATO Dynamics market researchers compiled the figures, said European Automotive News Saturday.

VW is likely to be facing potential production problems in the near future because of a separate issue. The automaker is in a dispute with two Prevent Group-owned suppliers. The outlets provide transmission and seat parts to Volkswagen. Due to the dispute, deliveries of those parts have been halted. The result has had Volkswagen curtailing the output at four of its German factories.


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