Detroit Three Update: GM, Ford to Cease Production, FCA's Actions Unclear

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
detroit three update gm ford to cease production fcas actions unclear

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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  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Mar 19, 2020

    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.

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