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Coronavirus Has Now Shut Down The Auto Industry

General Motors HQ
Photo via GM.

All of the Detroit Three automakers have agreed to the UAW demands of temporarily shutting down all American manufacturing plants as a precaution against COVID-19 coronavirus.

The details of the shutdowns are expected to be released in the afternoon by each automaker. For General Motors and Ford Motor Company, production will be halted until at least March 30.

Despite everybody’s best effort to deny it, the coronavirus has shut down automotive manufacturing. This will likely affect Ford Motor Company and its employees the most, as it has the largest manufacturing footprint in America. The news comes just mere hours after the company announced it would close the Ranger and upcoming 2021 Bronco plant in Wayne, Michigan. Just the same, FCA was halting production at the 2020 Ram 1500 Assembly plant in Sterling Heights. Both facilities had employees test positive for COVID-19. FCA also saw early disruptions in Indiana, where a manufacturing employee there tested positive. The automaker additionally saw walkouts happen at its plant in Windsor, Ontario, as well as at a paint shop in Warren, Michigan, where the Ram 1500 Classic and Warlock are built.

2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock.

The move to temporarily close plants follows Sunday’s news that Ford leaders are forming a Coronavirus Task Force along with UAW, General Motors Co. and Fiat Chrysler leaders to implement enhanced protections for manufacturing and warehouse employees at all three companies. Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford and President and CEO Jim Hackett, UAW President Rory Gamble, GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, and FCA CEO Mike Manley are leading the task force. The three companies formed also formed a similar task force in Canada.

With the pandemic affecting the entire world, automotive sales have absolutely tanked. Meaning that when Q1 2020 earnings come out, things are going to be deep in the red. Despite the realities, GM and Ford have thrown Hail Mary passes to get customers to buy, such as 0 percent interest for 84 months.

2020 Corvette Stingray
2020 Corvette Stingray

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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Ford Ranger


2020 Corvette Stingray