The coronavirus pandemic in Europe has temporarily shut down production in many factories of European and overseas automakers. Only a few of them did not close their operations: Tatra Trucks is one of them.
Due to the global pandemic, the Czech government declared a state of emergency in the first half of March. Most industrial enterprises in the Czech Republic and in Europe have responded to the spread of coronavirus by stopping or significantly reducing production.
The effect of the coronavirus on the automobile industry is especially grave, since many automakers across Europe have declared temporary shutdowns and many have extended shutdowns beyond their original dates. Among the few exceptions is the Czech Tatra Trucks, the Czech bus manufacturer SOR Libchavy and factories of Solaris company in Poland. However, Hyundai and Kia’s factories in the Czechia and Slovakia resumed production in a limited mode a few days ago.
Tatra Trucks keeps running its production despite the quarantine, and its management does not plan to limit it now. The company also continues to provide services for its customers. Since the beginning of the state of emergency, one of the oldest worldwide vehicle manufacturers has also devoted extraordinary efforts to the protection of employees’ health. Therefore, throughout the pandemic crisis, there has been no one infected with COVID-19.
Since the backbone of the Czech Army’s and Czech Fire Rescue Service’s logistics fleet is consisted of Tatra trucks, these trucks now help distribute the medical and other strategic material across the country. Tatra Trucks acknowledges the key role of Tatra vehicles in the times of pandemic. Therefore, its management has taken measures to support the operability of Tatra trucks used by the Czech Army and the Integrated Rescue System ot the Czech Republic (IRS CR) units. The manufacturer has set the highest priority for Tatra trucks used by the Army and IRS CR within the dealer and repair and maintenance service network, including the company service centre in Kopřivnice.
Regarding protection of employees’ health, there is a set of protective measures in place. Employees are required to wear faces masks, and managers and office workers are asked to work from home as much as possible. There is also limited association in the Tatra Trucks premises, and excursions and external visits are prohibited. Tatra Trucks also withdrew its employees from abroad and most of them were put in quarantine for preventive reasons. Antibacterial and disinfectants are distributed on the premises of the company. Strict hygienic measures are also followed by employees of the catering department, and special rules apply to external suppliers when entering the Tatra Trucks premises.
However, even Tatra Trucks faces some challenges due to the unprecedented lockdown of the country: there are minor problems linked to the delays in components supplies from a couple of subcontractors. This has been resolved thanks to the management by regrouping the production plan for April (and if necessary, also for the following months), and by planning a new production schedule. TATRA TRUCKS has not yet experienced cancellations or deferrals of orders from business partners and vehicle buyers.