In a statement, VW said 8,000 employees in the city of Wolfsburg began building cars again on Monday, under tight hygiene restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The company says it expects 1,400 cars to be built this week. Next week, production will be ramped up to more than 6,000 cars -- around 40% of pre-crisis levels.
"Step-by-step resumption of production is an important signal for the workforce, dealerships, suppliers and the wider economy," said Ralf Brandstaetter, Chief Operating Officer of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand.
"In terms of managing the crisis, though, this is just the first step. Additional momentum is needed to stimulate demand in Germany and throughout Europe so that production volumes can be successively increased."
The company says it has implemented extra hygiene measures at the factory. Employees are expected to check their temperature at home every morning, and to change into their overalls at home, to prevent crowding in factory changing rooms.
Markings on the factory floor will help workers maintain a 1.5-meter distance from each other. Where this is not possible, mouth and nose protection must be worn. VW says extra time is being provided to allow employees to disinfect tools and surfaces.
Volkswagen began producing components in several German cities in early April and resumed manufacturing in Germany and Slovakia on April 20. This week the company plans to restart production in Portugal, Spain, Russia, South Africa and South America and from May 3 onwards in Tennessee in the United States.