Automakers Finally Close Their North American Factories Over Coronavirus Concerns
The coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the automotive industry. With the government cracking down on non-essential jobs and practically forcing nearly every industry to send employees home, car manufactures have had to shutter factories to stop the spread of the virus. Automakers were quick to close their European factories, but have been slow to do the same in the United States, until now. Recently, there's been a flurry of factory closures in North America, as automakers look to take immediate measures to make things safer for workers.
Automakers Closing Factories
Keeping up with all of the factories that are closing down can be tough. So, we decided to put all of the automakers that are closing factories in North America in one convenient place.
Production at Ford's factories in North America (U.S., Canada, and Mexico) will come to a halt on Thursday, March 19. The facilities will reopen on March 30. Ford is closing down the plants to clean and sanitize all of the equipment to keep workers safe from the virus.
Additionally, the automaker recently closed its Michigan Assembly Plant final assembly building this week after one of its workers tested positive for the virus. That building has been closed until March 30 to be cleaned and sanitized.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Starting on March 18, FCA closed all of its plants in North America until the end of March. Unlike the other automakers, FCA didn't specifically state why it would be closing its factories beyond stating that it wants its employees to feel safe at work. Each automaker under FCA's umbrella will "reevaluate at the end of this month."
The last of the American automakers, GM recently confirmed that it too would be closing its North American plants until March 30 to clean equipment. Unlike other automakers, GM will be introducing a "systematic orderly suspension" of its facilities in a cadence to ensure that production isn't immediately shut off.
American Brands Aren't Alone
Honda may not be an American automaker, but the Japanese brand has quite a few factories in North America. Beginning March 23, Honda will shut down all of its plants for six days and currently plans to return things back to normal on March 31. Depending on how rapidly the coronavirus spreads, Honda will evaluate its plans and make any necessary adjustments as it deems fit.
Hyundai's manufacturing plant in Alabama had a confirmed case of the coronavirus on March 18 and was immediately shut down on the same day. The automaker is currently cleaning the facility, but did not say when it plans to reopen the plant. At the time of writing, the Alabama plant is the only facility that Hyundai closed because of the virus.
Starting on March 20, Nissan will shut down all of its manufacturing plants in the U.S. The closure will continue until April 6, longer than other brands with facilities in North America. The Japanese automaker didn't provide any information on whether it would be closing its plants in Mexico or Canada.
Toyota is closing its factories in North America from March 23 through April 3 with plans to resume production on April 6. The Japanese automaker will clean and disinfect its equipment at its plants to stop the spread of the virus.
The last automaker we'll cover on this list, Volkswagen will be closing its plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee from March 21 to March 29. It too will be cleaning equipment to help keep workers safe. The German automaker claims that employees can telework if they are able to do so and have been told to self-quarantine, as well as maintain social distancing.
Depending on how the U.S. implements coronavirus testing and treatment, we could see this closures last much longer than expected. At the time of writing, Johns Hopkins University & Medicine 's data claims that there are a total of 14,250 cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. and 205 deaths.
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