Big three US automakers expected to restart on May 18 after COVID shutdown

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As we know the U.S. automakers were shut down in late March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Detroit's Big Three automakers – General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles all plan to reopen North American factories on May 18. Here’s we are discussing these auto manufacturers’ plans to return to work.

The companies will test workers who report COVID-19 symptoms or have fevers discovered by temperature scanners installed at factory entrances. The auto sector accounts for 6% of U.S. economic output and employs more than 835,000 Americans. Among other automakers in the U.S. Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, and Toyota already restarted production at this week. In the UK, Aston Martin, Lagonda and Rolls-Royce were the first large car producers to get back to work last week.

FORD (NYSE: F)

“One is we’ve got to have safe work environments, and the other is if we keep the economy turned off we’re going to have a fate worse than some of the things that the virus is causing,” says Jim Hackett, the president and CEO of Ford Motor Company.

Ford would restart most of its vehicle production on May 18. The plants previously operating on three shifts are to return with two shifts; most two-shift plants will return on one shift, and most one-shift plants will operate on one shift. Ford expects around 47,000 U.S. factory workers will return by next week. The company said its Plant in Essex, the U.K. and South Wales will restart on the same day. Ford also is producing face masks for its employees in the U.K. and across Europe.

GENERAL MOTORS (NYSE: GM)

“Where our coronavirus safety protocols have been in place, we have not seen a confirmed case of community spread in our facilities,” said Mary Barra, GM’s chief executive.

General Motors is targeting May 18th for reopening its U.S. and Canadian vehicle assembly plants. The company shut down these plants in March due to the pandemic. General Motors’ U.S. sales fell 7% in the first quarter from a year ago. The automaker said it will conduct extensive screening, cleaning, and social distancing strategies to keep workers safe. The company already shared its 48-page back-to-work health and safety protocols and sent fliers to its workers communicating what to expect when they return.

FIAT CHRYSLER AUTOMOBILES (NYSE: FCAU)

“We expect all plants in North America to restart the week of May 18, with the exception of Belvedere, which will open by June 1,” Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley said last week. The company said every square inch of the auto plants have been cleaned and disinfected in preparation for next week’s restart. The company already implemented many new protocols to protect workers staggered work schedules and thermal imaging cameras to verify self-reported temperatures.
 
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