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VW given green light to seize car parts from supplier

The state court of Lower Saxony on Friday ordered the firms Car Trim and ES Automobilguss to deliver the parts to Volkswagen so that it can resume the manufacture of its Golf cars, Spiegel reports.

ES Automobilguss has appealed the decision, but will nevertheless be forced to comply with the order in the meantime.

The order means that VW can send trucks to the supplier and with the assistance of bailiffs seize the parts it needs to resume production, something that has never happened before in the German car industry, Spiegel notes.

The background to the dispute remains completely unclear, with both sides refusing to comment on why the parts have not been delivered.

An internal email explained that VW would not be manufacturing the Golf cars at least between August 20th and 29th, with a VW spokesperson confirming this, according to N-TV.

According to Die Welt, ES Automobilguss GmbH is embroiled in a legal dispute with VW and has stopped delivering the cast iron parts needed to make gearboxes. This has led to huge shortages and bottlenecks in the production process. Another supplier, which makes textiles for car seats, had also stopped delivering to VW.

These conflicts have already led to workers being asked to work part-time or take compulsory holiday in several of the company’s plants, as reported on Thursday.

At a factory in Emden, 7,200 of the total 9,000 employees have started to work part-time due to missing parts, a measure planned to last until August 24th.

The Wolfsburg plant along with two others, in Kassel and Zwickau, will also be affected by the issues. In total, 20,000 VW workers are either already working shorter hours or are expected to do so soon, with the details currently in discussion at the Federal Employment Agency.

The auto giant said it obtained a court injunction last week to compel the supplier to resume deliveries, but that it has “not been complied with”. Volkswagen was prepared to “forcibly ensure” the resumption of deliveries, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported, using all possible legal means.

Germany’s largest car company has been going through the toughest 12 months in its history after US regulators revealed last September that they had found evidence VW was duping its emissions regulators by using a so-called defeat device in its diesel engines.

Volkswagen last month obtained preliminary approval from a California judge for a $14.7 billion (€13 billion) settlement over the emissions scandal.

The settlement includes $10 billion for compensation for affected car owners. In addition, the group will create a $2.7 billion fund for environmental remediation, and provide $2 billion to promote the use of “zero emissions” vehicles within the United States.

Article source: http://www.thelocal.de/20160819/vw-forced-to-cut-hours-stop-golf-production-at-plants