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Coronavirus: More Assembly Plants Going Idle in North America

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In addition to Honda shuttering its North American plants for one week, several other carmakers have now announced similar measures that will see automotive factories go idle temporarily.

Ford and General Motors announced the temporary shutdown of all their North American plants. The former will idle its factories as of the end of today’s work shift, until March 30; the latter will gradually do the same with its facilities, starting today. Officially, the stoppage there too lasts until March 30 there too.

Ford has confirmed that one its workers at the company’s plant in Wayne, Michigan, has tested positive for COVID-19.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has also announced a total pause in production until March 30. Nissan is doing the same, until April 6.

In all cases, companies are saying they will re-evaluate the situation as the re-start dates approach.

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Photo: Hyundai

Hyundai announced it is stopping production its Alabama plant after a worker at that factory tested positive for the virus.

As for Tesla, it was to shut down production yesterday at its California assembly plant for three weeks in response to the state of emergency declared in the San Francisco region and environs. However, yesterday production appeared to be proceeding as normal, with Reuters reporters noting that thousands of vehicles were parked at the plant’s employee parking lot and observing workers entering and leaving the factory. Here’s hoping the top brass at Tesla gets the memo.

In the U.K., Rolls-Royce decided to pause production for a period of two weeks, starting Monday, March 23.

The majority of assembly plants in Europe and Asia are not currently operating. Across the board, companies are using the period of inactivity to thoroughly clean the facilities in anticipation of workers eventually returning to their posts.