European Ford, Toyota, BMW Plants Go Dark

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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  • Snickel Fritz I just bought a '97 JX 4WD 4AT, and though it's not quite roadworthy yet I am already in awe of it's simplicity and apparent ruggedness. What I am equally in awe of, is the scarcity of not only parts but correct information regarding anything on this platform. I'm going to do my best to get this little donkey back on it's feet, but I wouldn't suggest this as a project vehicle for anyone who doesn't already have several... and a big impressive shop with a full suite of fabrication/machining/welding equipment, and friends with complimentary skillsets, and extra money, and... you get the idea. If you don't, I urge you to read up on the options for replacing anything on these rigs. I didn't read enough before buying, and I have zero of the above suggested prerequisites... so I'm an idiot, don't listen to me. Go buy all of 'em!
  • Bryan Raab Davis I actually did use the P of D trope, but it was only gentle chiding, for I love old British cars of every sort.
  • ScarecrowRepair The 1907 Panic had several causes of increased demand for money:[list][*]The semi-annual shift of money between farms and cities (to buy for planting and selling harvests)[/*][*]Britain and Germany borrowing for their naval arms race[/*][*]San Francisco reconstruction borrowing after the 1906 earthquake and fire[/*][/list]Two things made it worse:[list][*]Idiotic bans on branch banking, which prevented urban, rural, and other state branches from shifting funds to match demands. This same problem made the Great Depression far worse. Canada, which allowed branch banking, had no bank failures; the US had 9000 failures.[/*][*]Idiotic reserve requirements left over from the Civil War which prevented banks from loaning money; they eventually started honoring IOUs illegally and started the recovery.[/*][/list]Been a while since I read up on it, so I may have some of the details wrong. But it was an amazing clusterfart which could have been avoided or at least tamed sooner if states and the feds hadn't been so ham handed.
  • FreedMike Maybe this explains all the “Idiots wrecking exotic cars” YouTube videos.
  • FreedMike Good article! And I salute the author for not using the classic “Lucas - prince of darkness” trope, well earned as it may be. We all know the rap on BL cars, but on the flip side, they’re apparently pretty easy to work on (at least that’s the impression I’ve picked up). On the other hand, check the panel fits on the driver’s and passenger’s doors. Clearly, BL wasn’t much concerned with things like structural integrity when it chopped the roof off a car designed as a coupe.
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