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.
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.