Ford, FCA target April 14 to reopen auto plants

DETROIT – The Big Three are anxious to get back to business -- Ford Motor Company announced Thursday it is aiming to bring “key plants” back online by April 6 and April 14.

The decision to reopen plants is getting less than cheery response from the United Auto Workers.

President Donald Trump said he wants to see the economy back on its feet by Easter Sunday, April 12, and it looks like Ford agrees as it plans to ramp up production.

The country’s best-selling vehicle is made at the Dearborn Truck Plant. In order for that vehicle to be produced again, Ford will have to open several other plants and factories that the Dearborn Truck Plant relies on for parts.

Ford is aiming to open Dearborn Truck, Dearborn Stamping and the Dearborn Diversified Manufacturing plant.

Portions of Van Dyke Transmission and Rawsonville components plant will also start back up.

FCA said it’s also looking at opening plants on April 14 as well.

Auto analysts aren’t sure that plan will hold up.

In a statement, a representative from Ford said the company “will continue to assess public health conditions as well as supplier readiness and will adjust plans if necessary.”

The UAW did not think fondly of the idea.

“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," said UAW President Rory Gamble. “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?’”

General Motors did not put out any potential start dates and said it is looking at the situation on a week-by-week basis.

Anyone who believes they might have coronavirus should follow the CDC guidelines. Michigan.gov has a list of resources available to those concerned about COVID-19.

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