BMW Employees Quarantined in Munich

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
bmw employees quarantined in munich

Ahead of a product reveal that was pushed into the online realm after last Friday’s cancellation of the Geneva Motor Show, 150 German BMW employees were told to stay in their homes after an R&D employee tested positive for the coronavirus.

The employees work at the research and development center in BMW’s home base of Munich. As viral outbreaks grow in western Europe, spurred by a recent outbreak in northern Italy, this story will surely be repeated across the industry — and the globe.

You read earlier today that a Hyundai plant in South Korea has been idled after a worker tested positive. This time, it’s an R&D facility half a world away. In a statement posted by Reuters, BMW said the employees will be quarantined at home for a period of two weeks — the disease’s maximum incubation time, or so most virologists believe.

Pulling a significant number of employees off the job can complicate an automaker’s operations just as much as a factory shutdown, albeit with a significant time delay. Per Automotive News Europe, BMW claims the facility has been disinfected and work continues within. You can bet no one’s shaking hands or leaving their sandwich on a countertop.

Apparently, the employee had not recently returned from any coronavirus hotspot, which doesn’t say anything good about the state of community-level transmission in that country. The first new coronavirus case in a month popped up in Germany last Tuesday, expanding exponentially since. At last report, 158 were infected, and it’s a similar story in neighboring France.

Given the speed of the virus’ spread, it’s difficult to imagine other countries and automakers not having to isolate workforces at nerve centers and assembly plants in the very near future.

[Image: © 2019 Chris Tonn/TTAC]

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  • By looking at the mortality statistics by age, unless you are over 60, there's almost no chance of dying from it. Mortality rates are highest among those with cancer, hypertension, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. So if you are under 60 and healthy, there's very, very little to worry about. If you are over 60, and particularly if you're over 70, and have one of the five conditions listed above, then you should take precautions to keep from catching this thing.

  • JMII JMII on Mar 03, 2020

    They have closed 3 Disney far east locations... so its officially getting serious. My large, international company hasn't banned travel yet, its just been reduced to "as needed" and requires an extra level of management approval. I know when it comes to germ covered things airplanes are #1 since you have hundreds of people jammed in a metal tube for hours.

  • Kat Laneaux What's the benefits of this as opposed to the Ford or Nissan. Will the mileage be better than the 19 city, 24 hwy? Will it cost less than the average of $60,000? Will it be a hybrid?
  • Johnster Minor quibble. The down-sized full-sized 1980-only Continental (which was available with Town Car and Town Coupe trims) gave up its name in 1981 and became the Town Car. The name "Town Coupe" was never used after the 1980 model year. The 1981 Lincoln Town Car was available with a 2-door body style, but the 2-door Lincoln Town Car was discontinued and not offered for the 1982 model year and never returned to the Lincoln lineup.
  • Zipper69 Some discreet dwebadging and this will pass for a $95k Lucid Air...
  • Zipper69 Does it REALLY have to be a four door?Surely a truly compact vehicle could stick with the half-door access with jump seats for short term passengers.
  • ToolGuy See kids, you can keep your old car in good condition.