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

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

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]

Steph Willems
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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.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Mar 19, 2020

    @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.

  • Bkojote Allright, actual person who knows trucks here, the article gets it a bit wrong.First off, the Maverick is not at all comparable to a Tacoma just because they're both Hybrids. Or lemme be blunt, the butch-est non-hybrid Maverick Tremor is suitable for 2/10 difficulty trails, a Trailhunter is for about 5/10 or maybe 6/10, just about the upper end of any stock vehicle you're buying from the factory. Aside from a Sasquatch Bronco or Rubicon Jeep Wrangler you're looking at something you're towing back if you want more capability (or perhaps something you /wish/ you were towing back.)Now, where the real world difference should play out is on the trail, where a lot of low speed crawling usually saps efficiency, especially when loaded to the gills. Real world MPG from a 4Runner is about 12-13mpg, So if this loaded-with-overlander-catalog Trailhunter is still pulling in the 20's - or even 18-19, that's a massive improvement.
  • Lou_BC "That’s expensive for a midsize pickup" All of the "offroad" midsize trucks fall in that 65k USD range. The ZR2 is probably the cheapest ( without Bison option).
  • Lou_BC There are a few in my town. They come out on sunny days. I'd rather spend $29k on a square body Chevy
  • Lou_BC I had a 2010 Ford F150 and 2010 Toyota Sienna. The F150 went through 3 sets of brakes and Sienna 2 sets. Similar mileage and 10 year span.4 sets tires on F150. Truck needed a set of rear shocks and front axle seals. The solenoid in the T-case was replaced under warranty. I replaced a "blend door motor" on heater. Sienna needed a water pump and heater blower both on warranty. One TSB then recall on spare tire cable. Has a limp mode due to an engine sensor failure. At 11 years old I had to replace clutch pack in rear diff F150. My ZR2 diesel at 55,000 km. Needs new tires. Duratrac's worn and chewed up. Needed front end alignment (1st time ever on any truck I've owned).Rear brakes worn out. Left pads were to metal. Chevy rear brakes don't like offroad. Weird "inside out" dents in a few spots rear fenders. Typically GM can't really build an offroad truck issue. They won't warranty. Has fender-well liners. Tore off one rear shock protector. Was cheaper to order from GM warehouse through parts supplier than through Chevy dealer. Lots of squeaks and rattles. Infotainment has crashed a few times. Seat heater modual was on recall. One of those post sale retrofit.Local dealer is horrific. If my son can't service or repair it, I'll drive 120 km to the next town. 1st and last Chevy. Love the drivetrain and suspension. Fit and finish mediocre. Dealer sucks.
  • MaintenanceCosts You expect everything on Amazon and eBay to be fake, but it's a shame to see fake stuff on Summit Racing. Glad they pulled it.