How German Manufacturing Kept Working, Even During the Pandemic

May 7, 2020

When the coronavirus arrived in Europe, Germany followed the rest of the world in closing schools, theatres, and restaurants. Unlike much of the rest of the world, however, their manufacturing plants never shuttered. The Wall Street Journal examined how the country was able to keep production running and the impact it will likely have on their economy.

They found that most factories were able to continue at about 80% of normal capacity, and companies with thousands of employees had only a handful of confirmed cases. The article credits swift implementation of strict safety guidelines. For example, Volkswagen implemented a 100 point plan that included standard safety measures like requiring masks and social distancing, but went so far as to include regulations like how and when employees can eat lunch and procedures for changing clothes in the safest manner.

Economists still expect a dramatic economic slowdown in the country, and no matter how safe domestic manufacturing is, it relies on global supply lines that have been disrupted, so the country still faces significant headwinds. The economists also feel that Germany’s procedures will allow it to have a more rapid recovery than the rest of the continent.

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