Ford Oakville Assembly Resumes Production
On May 25, Ford Motor Company of Canada brought workers back to Oakville Assembly, relaunching vehicle production in the country. The plant, along with Flat Rock Assembly Plant, opened a full week after manufacturing resumed at other key Ford plants in North America.
Ford announced its phased restart of North American manufacturing in early May, which included reopening several assembly plants in the United States and Mexico on May 18. Canada’s two engine manufacturing facilities in Essex and Windsor reopened on May 19.
As to why the company waited the extra week to resume production at Oakville, Ford of Canada spokeswoman Lauren Moore told Automotive News Canada that several considerations were taken into account.
“Our restart plans have included considering pandemic conditions, supplier readiness, dealer requirements, and customer demand,” Moore wrote. “Production will start at a reduced level in May and will ramp up as our workforce and supply chain are able to support.”
Ford employs an estimated 5,300 people in Canada, including 4,600 at Oakville Assembly. The Ontario plant builds the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus and previously built the Ford Flex and Ford Freestar among others.
Ford Oakville Assembly employees following new safety guidelines
As Oakville Assembly comes back online, its employees will follow Ford’s Manufacturing Return to Work Playbook. This set of guidelines and regulations is intended to preserve the health and safety of Ford employees around the globe and includes daily health self-certifications, face masks, and temperature scans on arrival at the plant.
Ford has also demonstrated that it will take positive employee tests seriously. This week, it announced temporary pauses in production at the Chicago Stamping Plant and Kansas City Assembly Plant to allow for “enhanced cleaning” to disinfect workspaces. Ford also notifies anyone who has been in contact with an infected employee and requires them to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to work.