Ford, GM, Fiat Chrysler suspend all North American production to stop coronavirus spread
The decisions follow discussions with the United Autoworkers Union as it urged the Big Three automakers to help look out for workers' wellbeing.
Ford, General Motors (GM), and Fiat Chrysler all announced on Wed. March 18 that they will suspend all production in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico starting at the end of Thursday
Ford’s shut down will last until March 30, and it will conduct intense cleaning and sanitizing measures at all of its North American facilities.
Like Ford, GM’s shutdowns cover all of North America, and during the downtime the company will sanitize all facilities.”The suspension will last until at least March 30,” GM said in its announcement. “Production status will be reevaluated week-to-week after that.”
Fiat Chrysler plans to reevaluate the situation at the end of the month.
Earlier this week, the United Autoworkers Union (UAW) had called on the Big Three auto makers to shut down their U.S. factories for two weeks in order “to safeguard our members, our families and our communities” amid the coronavirus outbreak. The union applauded the shutdowns in a March 18 statement. “Today’s action is the prudent thing to do. By taking a shutdown and working through next steps, we protect UAW members, their families and the community,” said Rory Gamble, president of the UAW. “We have time to review best practices when the plants reopen, and we prevent the possible spread of this pandemic.”