(Reuters) – Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) said it will furlough workers at its U.S. assembly plant in Tennessee starting April 11 as the industry grapples with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The German automaker said the temporary emergency furloughs for its production and maintenance workforce are expected to last no more than four weeks.

The automaker said its “primary objective is to protect the financial health of Volkswagen for the benefit of our team as we address the emerging and ongoing impacts of the COVID-19.”

VW said employees and production contractors at the plant have to date received full pay and benefits during the shutdown that began March 21.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chris Reese

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