European Ford, Toyota, BMW Plants Go Dark
The European marketplace is shutting down, and with it the manufacturing base of many automakers. Ford, Toyota, and BMW have now announced temporary suspensions of production at plants across the continent — a measure that’s starting to be seen in North America.
Stuart Rowley, president of Ford of Europe, called the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on employees, dealers, and customers “unprecedented.” The supply chain is growing increasingly unreliable, the automaker stated, with customers falling away in huge numbers.
As such, “manufacturing sites in Cologne and Saarlouis in Germany, together with the Craiova facility in Romania, will temporarily halt production from Thursday, March 19,” Ford said. “Ford’s Valencia assembly and engine facility in Spain already temporarily halted production from Monday, March 16, after three workers were confirmed with coronavirus over the past weekend. Only essential work, such as maintenance and security, will continue onsite.”
Unlike Honda’s North American shutdown, Ford’s idle period is open-ended. The automaker noted “the exact duration depends on a number of factors” — a list whose contents you can probably guess.
One Toyota plant in France is already offline, with that automaker now claiming the remaining four will go dark by March 21st.
“With the acceleration of the coronavirus in various European countries or regions and the associated ‘lock-down’ measures taken by various national and regional authorities, an uncertain short-term sales outlook and difficulties in logistics and supply chains are being felt and will increase in the next weeks,” Toyota stated.
“TME has consequently decided to organise a progressive suspension of its vehicle and engines/transmissions production plants in Europe starting on 18 March until further notice.”
On Wednesday, BMW announced its European and South African plants will shut down for a period of one month.
“Our production is geared towards sales development forecasts – and we are adjusting our production volumes flexibly in line with demand,” said BMW AG chief executive Oliver Zipse. “Since yesterday: We began to shut down our European and Rosslyn automotive plants, which will close by the end of the week. The interruption of production for the mentioned plants is currently planned to run until April 19.”
German auto giant Daimler announced Tuesday that it will suspend the “majority” of its European production for two weeks. “Daimler’s management is monitoring the situation constantly and will take further measures as required,” the automaker stated. “Full operations will be resumed when the situation improves.”
[Image: © 2020 Chris Tonn/TTAC]
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- 56m65711446 Well, I had a suburban auto repair shop in those days.
- Dukeisduke Yikes - reading the recall info from NHTSA, this sounds like the Hyundai/Kia 2.4l Theta II "engine fire" recall, since it involves an engine block or oil pan "breach", so basically, throwing a rod:"Description of the Safety Risk : Engine oil and/or fuel vapor that accumulates near a sufficiently hot surface, below the combustion initiation flame speed, may ignite resulting in an under hood fire, and increasing the risk of injury. Description of the Cause :Isolated engine manufacturing issues have resulted in 2.5L HEV/PHEV engine failures involving engine block or oil pan breach. In the event of an engine block or oil pan breach, the HEV/PHEV system continues to propel the vehicle allowing the customer to continue to drive the vehicle. As the customer continues to drive after a block breach, oil and/or fuel vapor continues to be expelled and accumulates near ignition sources, primarily expected to be the exhaust system. Identification of Any Warning that can Occur :Engine failure is expected to produce loud noises (example: metal-to-metal clank) audible to the vehicle’s occupants. An engine failure will also result in a reduction in engine torque. In Owner Letters mailed to customers, Ford will advise customers to safely park and shut off the engine as promptly as possible upon hearing unexpected engine noises, after experiencing an unexpected torque reduction, or if smoke is observed emanating from the engine compartment."
- Dukeisduke In an ideal world, cars would be inspected in the way the MoT in the UK does it, or the TÜV in Germany. But realistically, a lot of people can't afford to keep their cars to such a high standard since they need them for work, and widespread public transit isn't a thing here.I would like the inspections to stick around (I've lived in Texas all my life, and annual inspections have always been a thing), but there's so much cheating going on (and more and more people don't bother to get their cars inspected or registration renewed), so without rigorous enforcement (which is basically a cop noticing your windshield sticker is out of date, or pulling you over for an equipment violation), there's no real point anymore.
- Zipper69 Arriving in Florida from Europe and finding ZERO inspection procedures I envisioned roads crawling with wrecks held together with baling wire, duct tape and prayer.Such proved NOT to be the case, plenty of 20-30 year old cars and trucks around but clearly "unsafe at any speed" vehicles are few and far between.Could this be because the median age here is 95, so a lot of low mileage vehicles keep entering the market as the owners expire?
- Zipper69 At the heart of GM’s resistance to improving the safety of its fuel systems was a cost benefit analysis done by Edward Ivey which concluded that it was not cost effective for GM to spend more than $2.20 per vehicle to prevent a fire death. When deposed about his cost benefit analysis, Mr. Ivey was asked whether he could identify a more hazardous location for the fuel tank on a GM pickup than outside the frame. Mr. Ivey responded, “Well yes…You could put in on the front bumper.”
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