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Ford North American Production Restart Postponed Indefinitely

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Ford badge | Ford North American production restart
Photo: Ford

After announcing plans to push back its planned restart of North American production to April 6, Ford on Monday said that it will further delay the reopening of plants in the name of worker safety. Where production had been planned to start up at Hermosillo Assembly Plant next Monday and at several other key plants the following Tuesday, Ford now says that it will announce the restart of manufacturing at a date to be named later.

“The health and safety of our workforce, dealers, customers, partners and communities remains our highest priority,” said Kumar Galhotra, Ford president, North America. “We are working very closely with union leaders — especially at the UAW — to develop additional health and safety procedures aimed at helping keep our workforce safe and healthy.”

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A timeline of delays

Ford first announced on March 18 that it would close all North American manufacturing facilities until March 30 to allow for thorough cleaning and sanitation. This followed a mandate from earlier in that same week for non-business-critical employees to begin working remotely until further notice.

On March 26, Ford pushed back the reopening date to April 6, announcing that the Hermosillo Assembly Plant in Mexico would resume one shift of production. The plan at the time was for production to then resume on April 14 at several other key facilities including Dearborn Truck Plant, Kentucky Truck Plant, Ohio Assembly Plant, and the Ford Transit line at Kansas City Assembly.

On Sunday, national social distancing guidelines were extended through the end of April.

Ford getting to work on ventilators

Ford Rawsonville Components Plant to build Model A-E ventilators | Ford North American production restart
Rawsonville Components Plant will reopen April 20 to start production on ventilators
Photo: Ford

While the timeline for the restart of vehicle production is as-yet unknown, Ford has confirmed that the Rawsonville Components Plant will reopen on April 20 so that it can begin production on the Model A-E ventilator. Five hundred UAW workers will work to build 50,000 ventilators, co-designed by Ford and GE Healthcare, by the Fourth of July.

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