Ford, GM: North American factories will close due to virus

Ford, GM: North American factories will close due to virus

Ford and General Motors are confirming that they will temporarily close all of their North American factories due to the coronavirus threat.

Scripps station WXYZ in Detroit says all of the "Big 3" Detroit automarkers - Fiat-Chrysler, Ford and GM - will suspend operations at manufacturing plants. GM spokesperson Jim Cain said its shutdown will also start Wednesday and last through March 30; it will take several days to complete the shutdown and operations will be evaluated weekly after that.

The Detroit Three automakers will shut down their USA plants to stop the spread of coronavirus, bowing to pressure from the union representing about 150,000 hourly workers at those facilities, industry officials said.

"We are continuing to monitor the situation carefully and are taking all necessary precautions to safeguard the health and welfare of our workforce", the spokeswoman said in email.

Rolls-Royce also announced they will cease production starting March 23.

UAW representatives told News 10 they were informed by GM this afternoon there would be a systematic shutdown across North America, beginning as soon as Thursday, March 19. Fiat Chrysler shares were down 14.3% in NY. According to the Associated Press, around 150,000 workers are "likely to receive supplemental pay in addition to unemployment benefits". The two checks combined will about equal what the workers normally make.

At a meeting with auto company officials Sunday, UAW President Rory Gamble and other union officials requested a two-week shutdown, Gamble said in a statement posted Tuesday to Facebook. But workers, especially in some Fiat Chrysler factories, were still afraid and were pressuring the union to seek full closings.

The automaker temporarily closed the Michigan Assembly Plant this morning after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

Tesla, meanwhile, was telling its employees to come to work at its Fremont, Calif., factory, despite a "shelter-in-place" order from Alameda County. "Our thoughts are with our employee and family during this hard time", a Ford spokesperson said in a statement.

Related Articles