It Begins: Fiat Chrysler Worker Comes Down With Coronavirus in Midwest

it begins fiat chrysler worker comes down with coronavirus in midwest

A day after the World Health Organization declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, an employee at Fiat Chrysler’s Kokomo Transmission Plant in Indiana tested positive for the virus.

This marks the first time a Detroit Three autoworker has contracted the illness, though the automaker claims the plant remains up and running. The employee, who remains unidentified ( The Detroit News claims it’s a salaried UAW member), is reportedly receiving medical treatment.

In the wake of Thursday’s news, FCA stated that it “placed into home quarantine his immediate co-workers and others in the facility he may have come into direct contact with.” A faintly pleasing scent of disinfectant should hang over the birthplace of so many four-, six-, and eight-speed transmissions from now on, as the automaker quickly announced a strict cleaning regimen.

“Additionally, the company has deep cleaned and disinfected his working area and is deploying additional sanitization measures across the entire facility, retiming break times to avoid crowding and deploying social spacing,” FCA said in a statement.

As reported by the Detroit Free Press, yesterday’s pandemic declaration pushed FCA to switch to video conferencing for meetings. Only the most “business critical” meetings will take place in person. Meanwhile, visitors to all FCA facilities in the U.S. will find themself subject to new rules, and that’s after they secure permission from a company bigwig to appear on the premises.

The coronavirus-stricken employee raises the specter of Hubei-style plant shutdowns in America’s manufacturing heartland — a scenario not outside the realm of possibility, but one both the country and its domestic manufacturers would nevertheless like to avoid. Kokomo, Indiana is home to four FCA plants.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler]

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  • NoID NoID on Mar 12, 2020

    It certainly doesn't help that just days ago there was a big event at Kokomo announcing the new engine plant, an event which drew attendees from across FCA's regional offices, plus state and local government officials. All of whom dispersed back to their respective locales when the event was over.

  • Akear Akear on Mar 12, 2020

    It is the end of the world. It is time to colonize Mars with the help of musk.

    • See 3 previous
    • RHD RHD on Mar 13, 2020

      @993cc "Social Distancing"... how is this going to affect patrons of hook-up bars? Will fear of COVID-19 bring about an era of chastity? Inquiring minds want to know.

  • DungBeetle62 "Mark III would make its branding as exclusive as possible... " Meanwhile, 40 years on down the road every single Lincoln product was "MK _____"
  • FreedMike It is kind of refreshing to see an off-roader that is focused on the basics of off-roading, versus convincing its’ owner that he’s the real-life incarnation of the Punisher, and the owner of the largest penis in human history.
  • FreedMike I’m for pretty much anything that goes fast. The more, the merrier.
  • ToolGuy 16.9 gallon fuel tank (~15 usable in the real world) combined with abysmal fuel economy means the range of your girlfriend's EV will look pretty good by comparison. 😉
  • ToolGuy Cadillac should make a list of everyone who gets excited by this announcement, and never listen to those people again.
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