By on March 18, 2020

2018 Ford F150 assembly line -Image: Ford

Ford Motor Company says it plans to idle all North American plants by end of day Thursday, keeping those facilities offline until the end of the month in an effort to cleanse them of coronavirus. General Motors is following suit, though Fiat Chrysler has yet to detail its near-future plan to protect workers and tailor production to reduced consumer demand.

The details come after the Detroit Three automakers agreed to a partial shutdown of U.S. production after advocacy from the United Auto Workers.

Ford said in a release that it plans to “thoroughly clean its facilities to protect its workforce and boost containment efforts for the COVID-19 coronavirus” after final shifts wrap up Thursday. The shutdown, spanning plants in Mexico to Canada, will end March 30th.

From Ford:

UAW and Ford leaders will work together in the coming weeks on plant restart plans as well as exploring additional protocols and procedures for helping prevent the spread of the virus. Chief among them: finding ways to maximize social distancing among plant workers – both during work hours and at shift change, when large numbers of people typically gather at entry and exit points and maximizing cleaning times between shift changes.

UAW President Rory Gamble called the move  the “prudent thing to do.”

General Motors plans to similarly scrub things down during what it calls a “systematic orderly suspension of manufacturing operations in North America.” Company brass will determine which plants go dark first. A timeline was not offered, though GM says the production suspension will last until “at least” March 30th.

Striking an ominous tone for workers and bean counters alike, the automaker added, “Production status will be reevaluated week-to-week after that.”

As of publication time, FCA had not shown its cards, though there’s little chance the automaker’s plan won’t closely mirror actions taken by Ford and GM.

(Update: As expected, FCA says it will close plants one at a time between now and the end of the month. It will then reevaluate.)

[Image: Ford]

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27 Comments on “Detroit Three Update: GM, Ford to Cease Production, FCA’s Actions Unclear...”


  • avatar
    thornmark

    what is GM doing w/ its main operations, which are

    in China

  • avatar
    dont.fit.in.cars

    The Great world wide inventory draw down.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    my advice to Americans, send GM a big message and

    buy cars and trucks from companies that don’t put China first

  • avatar
    ajla

    “The shutdown, spanning plants in Mexico to Canada, will end March 30th.”

    Bet it won’t.
    Not to be melodramatic, but I think we’re looking at WW2 levels of death and destruction this year. Maybe even greater than that for the US.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I don’t think we’ll see that much carnage in the developed world. But when the virus hits the undeveloped (and underdeveloped) world, I think it could be a bloodbath. In industrialized countries like the U.S. or China, the government can do things effectively to halt the spread, but what about a place like Syria, or all those tinhorn dictatorships in Africa? God help them.

      I have a feeling the indirect effect of this virus, via Latin America, will do far more damage than the direct domestic effects.

    • 0 avatar
      B&B? PFFFFTHAHAHA

      In 3 months this “threat” will be dead and gone and the sheep will be on to what the Dims can furiously try to hang on our POTUS. The damage will be done, but not anywhere close to your doomporn version.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        3 months (June 18) of required social distancing and enforced business closures might be softcore doomporn compared to my initial post but it is still doomporn.

  • avatar
    Scott

    Well not St. Catharines (yet) We are apparently still working next week.

  • avatar
    Scott

    Well not St. Catharines (yet) We are apparently still working next week.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    GM has so many cars,trucks, crossovers, and suvs that a shutdown would give the dealers time to clear the inventory.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    GM has so many cars,trucks, crossovers, and suvs that a shutdown would give the dealers time to clear the inventory.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    GM has so many cars,trucks, crossovers, and suvs that a shutdown would give the dealers time to clear the inventory.

  • avatar
    Acd

    Good thing Tesla doesn’t sell through dealers otherwise customers might be subject to shady retail practices…..

  • avatar

    So, deindustrialization of the West continues. We are entering new Dark ages. It is the end of globalization. Putin won.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      De-industrialization? Hardly. If anything US domestic industry will be augmented by all the manufacturing that will leave China and return to the US.

      That won’t be because of the virus, but because of the Chinese government’s response to it, its claim that it was planted by the American military, and especially by Chinese speculation that it could cut off America’s drug supply.

      China threatened to stop exporting rare earths a few years ago, and in fact did refuse to sell to Japanese companies for a time. That threat is not lost on American pharmaceutical companies, as well as electronics companies. You can add auto parts companies.

      Tariffs have already caused an exodus of manufacturing from China, but the distrust created by Chinese threats will only accelerate it. When the US imposes sanctions, it at least exempts food and medicine.

      Now that the Chinese have expressed a willingness to use their dominance in medicine as a weapon, they’ve virtually announced they’ll consider using dominance in everything as a weapon. Other countries have now gotten that message, not just the US.

  • avatar
    redgolf

    Nissan is shutting down all US plants including Smyrna Tn. starting Friday to April 6
    Nissan Motor Co. joined other major automakers Wednesday in announcing temporary production shutdowns across the country, including in Middle Tennessee.

    Manufacturing facilities will close their doors starting Friday through April 6 in response to safety concerns amid the global coronavirus pandemic, said spokeswoman Lloryn Love-Carter.

  • avatar
    narcoossee

    So there’s lots of spinning around on this, and I’m not sure why. Has anyone seen the contract the owner signs with Tesla? Is the software licensed to the OWNER, or the CAR? If it’s the owner, than what Tesla is doing makes sense. If it’s the car, they’re stealing.

    Welcome to the New World Business Order, where the model is “the customer never actually buys ANYTHING, but leases/rents it, so we can have a recurring revenue stream”.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Dear CFO of XYZ Motor Corporation,

    Can we agree that the annual budget/business plan/operating plan is not robust or resilient in adapting/responding to exogenous shocks? (e.g., tsunamis, recessions, pandemics)

    [And your 5-year strategic plan might be somewhat less than accurate.]

    Is there a better way? We know there is.

    Dear CEO of XYZ Motors, ask your CFO about this. It’s time for a change.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @narcoossee–Maybe so but count me out of buying anything from Tesla. I wouldn’t agree to their terms and therefore they would not sell me anything. I would not beg to buy any corporations product let someone else beg.

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