Things are moving at a dizzying pace as the world struggles to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Yesterday, we reported that Ford production in North America is to be shut down until further notice. Today, the company is announcing that it plans to restart production at some of its North American plants in early April.
The company plans to reopen its Hermosillo assembly plant in Mexico on April 6, though only for one shift. Ford also anticipates restarting operations on April 14 at the following four plants: Dearborn Truck, Kentucky Truck, Kansas City Assembly and Ohio Assembly.
A statement released by the UAW (the Union of Automobile Workers) in response to the latest announcement made clear its ambivalence: "We are looking at today's announcement with great concern and caution. Our priority is the health and safety of our members, their families and the American public.”
The automaker has indicated that a number of other factories are also scheduled to restart on April 14 to support the assembly plants. Ford has not announced any reopening dates for plants in Chicago, in Flat Rock, Michigan, in Louisville, in Cuautitlan, Mexico or in Oakville, Ontario.
"We will continue to evaluate public health conditions and supplier readiness and adjust plans as necessary," said Kumar Galhotra, Ford's president, North America, in a statement.
The automaker's North American plants have been shut down since March 20. Ford originally planned to restart production on March 30, but extended that deadline after many states, including Michigan, issued directives to stay home beyond those dates.
In Michigan, as in Quebec, the stay-at-home order is slated to end on April 13 – for the time being.