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Ford Suspends North American Manufacturing Through March 30

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Ford Motor Company | Ford suspends North American manufacturing
Photo: Ford Motor Company

In a move that was all but inevitable given the course of the last several days, Ford announced Wednesday that it is temporarily suspending production at its North American manufacturing plants to halt the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Following Thursday evening shifts, all plants in the United States, Canada, and Mexico will shutter until March 30 to allow for a thorough and complete cleaning and sanitation.

As the 11 days pass, Ford will continue to work with United Auto Workers leadership to develop a plan for restarting manufacturing that includes protocols for social distancing throughout the workday.

“We’re continuing to work closely with union leaders, especially the United Auto Workers, to find ways to help keep our workforce healthy and safe — even as we look at solutions for continuing to provide the vehicles customers really want and need,” said Ford President of North America Kumar Galhotra. “In these unprecedented times, we’re exploring unique and creative solutions to support our workforce, customers, dealers, suppliers, and communities.”

It was announced this week that Ford Credit is working with customers to provide relief with respect to due dates and delayed payments, while Ford Fund is working with Detroit-area nonprofits to help the southeast Michigan community during this time of crisis.

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Michigan Assembly Plant closes after employee tests positive

Ford took the step this morning of closing its Michigan Assembly Plant after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. Employees who came into contact with that individual have been directed to self-quarantine and seek further medical evaluation, and employees previously in contact with those in self-quarantine are advised to monitor their symptoms over the coming days.

Earlier this week, Ford advised all salaried employees not performing business-critical roles to begin working remotely for an indefinite period. On Tuesday, Ford announced that it is suspending manufacturing in Germany and Romania until further notice; the automaker’s Valencia plants were closed on Monday after three employees tested positive for coronavirus.

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