After announcing production stoppages at most of its European plants two weeks ago, Ford has now confirmed that these will remain idle until at least May 4. The shutdown affects all of the company's plants on the continent, including those in Germany (Saarlouis and Cologne), Spain (Valencia), Romania (Craiova) and the UK (Bridgend and Dagenham).
Ford says its production recovery plans will depend largely on the evolution of the coronavirus outbreak in April, and to the national restrictions that are in force in all European countries. Ford also states that its plans for the eventual re-start will “encompass appropriate measures on social distancing and other health and safety protocols to protect its workforce.”
“It’s important we give our employees as much clarity as possible on how long the present situation is likely to continue. We are hopeful the situation will improve in the coming month; our plans to restart operations, however, will continue to be informed by prevailing conditions and guidance of national governments.”
- Stuart Rowley, president of Ford of Europe
In the meantime, Ford is reiterating its commitment to helping countries across Europe in their efforts to combat the pandemic. That translates into manufacturing medical equipment, providing temporary beds for medical workers and supplying vehicles for essential medical services, food delivery and emergency transport.
The situation is similar in North America, where Ford had planned to restart production of F-150s on April 14 before putting that on indefinite hold due to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States. The automaker continues with its plans to produce ventilators at its plant in Rawsonville, Michigan; that should start the week of April 20.