Germany’s Audi announces €5m in coronavirus aid

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German carmaker Audi has announced 5 million euros (5.5 million dollars) in emergency aid to support medical and care facilities both at home and abroad during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The corona pandemic presents extreme challenges for all of us worldwide, for us as a company and for the society as a whole,” said Markus Duesmann, who became chairman of the carmaker’s board on Wednesday.

“I would like to thank all the Audi employees who are looking ahead, doing their bit and helping where they are needed in this extraordinary time,’’ he said in a statement.

Audi says that a growing number of employees are signing up to volunteer for the crisis-response efforts.

The millions of euros in aid from the Ingolstadt-based Volkswagen subsidiary comes on top of 600,000 euros already announced on Monday for hospitals in the luxury carmaker’s home city and the city of Heilbronn, where it has a factory.

Audi’s production lines have been still for over a week now, with just under half of the company’s 61,000-strong workforce placed initially until Easter on the German government’s short-time work scheme, helping to cover the bulk of their wages while there’s no work to do.

A company spokeswoman said Audi was fielding lots of calls requesting help and donations.

Employees are helping in a number of ways, she said, such as helping with the harvest in southern Germany’s hop-planting region of Hallertau.

She added that Audi vehicles have been provided to the Technisches Hilfswerk civil protection organisation.(dpa/NAN)


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