From the Frontline: Truck makers resume production, albeit with lower capacity

Will Shiers
April 23, 2020

MAN Truck & Bus and Renault Trucks are the latest manufacturers to announce a slow return to production.

MAN’s plants will “gradually resume production at reduced capacity” from 27 April, while Renault’s Lyon-Venissieux engine plant will restart from 22 April. Production at its Bourg-en-Bresse and Blainville-sur-Orne assembly plants will gradually resume their activity in the following weeks.

"In recent weeks, the crisis management team has been working intensively on the conditions under which our plants can be restarted,” said Joachim Drees, CEO of MAN Truck & Bus SE. “Among the key challenges here are the reliable supply of parts by our suppliers, as well as the organisation of our own work processes while protecting our colleagues, but also measures to stimulate demand for commercial vehicles. Our suppliers come from all EU countries - therefore we are asking politicians to support us with a coordinated approach at EU level to re-enter the market".

Both companies stress that the safety of employees come first, and will have stringent safety procedures in place.

Bruno Blin, president of Renault Trucks says: “We will only resume activities if health and safety conditions are exemplary – there will be no compromises. This is why we are envisaging a gradual restart, involving an initial period during which we will be testing the health protocols, as well as the supply chain and logistics, before considering a ramp-up.”

Measures to be taken by Renault Trucks include social distancing, the widespread use of masks, wearing of FFP2 masks with goggles or visors and gloves when the 1m distance cannot be respected, and special seating plans in shuttle buses.

About the Author

Will Shiers

Will Shiers has held an HGV licence since the age of 21, and has been writing about commercial vehicles for the past 25 years. He started his career as technical editor on Motor Transport, before taking on the editorship of Truck & Driver. Since 2011 he has been the editor of industry leading weekly publication Commercial Motor. Will is the UK jury member of the International Truck of the Year.

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