73ºF

Ford aims to resume production at select Detroit-area plants on April 14

Ford plants shut down during coronavirus outbreak

FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2018, file photo a United Auto Workers assemblymen work on a 2018 Ford F-150 trucks being assembled at the Ford Rouge assembly plant in Dearborn, Mich. The United Auto Workers union wants Detroit's three automakers to shut down their factories for two weeks to keep its members safe from the spreading coronavirus. But union President Rory Gamble says in an email to members obtained by The Associated Press that the companies were not willing to shut factories down. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2018, file photo a United Auto Workers assemblymen work on a 2018 Ford F-150 trucks being assembled at the Ford Rouge assembly plant in Dearborn, Mich. The United Auto Workers union wants Detroit's three automakers to shut down their factories for two weeks to keep its members safe from the spreading coronavirus. But union President Rory Gamble says in an email to members obtained by The Associated Press that the companies were not willing to shut factories down. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File) (Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

DETROIT – Ford Motor Company announced Thursday it is aiming to bring “key plants” back online by April 6 and April 14.

UPDATE March 31, 2020: Ford postpones restarting North American plants amid coronavirus outbreak

Ford said it is planning to resume production at Hermosillo Assembly Plant on April 6 on one shift. On April 14, Ford is planning to start building vehicles at Dearborn Truck Plant, Kentucky Truck Plant, Kansas City Assembly Plant’s Transit line and Ohio Assembly Plant.

To support these assembly plants, Ford said it also is aiming to resume production April 14 at:

  • Dearborn Stamping Plant
  • Dearborn Diversified Manufacturing Plant
  • Integrated stamping plants within Kansas City and Kentucky Truck plants
  • Sharonville Transmission Plant
  • Portions of Van Dyke Transmission (Sterling Heights), Lima Engine and Rawsonville Components plants

Detroit’s big three automakers -- Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler -- all announced last week that they were shutting down their plants due to coronavirus concerns. The trio said plants would be closed at least through March 30 so the facilities could be cleaned and sanitized. But Ford officials announced earlier this week that the closure will last even longer.

“Ford’s top priority is the health and safety of our employees, dealers, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders,” said Kumar Galhotra, Ford’s president of North America. “In light of various governments’ orders to stay and work from home, Ford is not planning to restart our plants in the U.S., Canada and Mexico on Monday, March 30, as originally hoped. We are assessing various options and working with union leaders -- including the United Auto Workers and Unifor -- on the optimal timing for resuming vehicle production, keeping the well-being of our workforce top of mind.”

In a statement Thursday, Ford said it is introducing additional safety measures to protect returning workers.

“We will continue to assess public health conditions as well as supplier readiness and will adjust plans if necessary,” reads a statement from Ford.

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union released this statement Thursday:

“We are reviewing with great concern and caution today’s announcement. Our priority is the health and safety of our members, their families and the American public.”

The UAW then released this statement later Thursday morning:

“The UAW continues to review with great caution and concern decisions being made about restarting workplaces, especially at advanced dates. These decisions should be informed by data and where each state is on the contagion curve. The UAW maintains that strict CDC guidelines need to be adhered to at all worksites and that prior to reopening sufficient data and protections are in place to ensure the safety of our members, their families and the public. The only guideline in a boardroom should be management asking themselves, “Would I send my family -- my own son or daughter -- into that plant and be 100% certain they are safe?”


About the Author: