Ford and Fiat Chrysler plan to retard their production in North American plants in April. Plants have been closed due to the COVID-19 Virus. Ford announced that their plans to restart production could happen as soon as April 6th. They were first urged to shut down due to union pressure to contain the virus outbreak from spreading through its workforce.
The majority of plants that are closed produce Ford Pickups, SUVs, vans and commercial trucks. Ford President of North America Kumar Galhotra, in a statement, said the plants will include “additional safety measures to protect returning workers” from contracting COVID-19.
Following Ford’s announcement, Fiat Chrysler announced its plants in the United States and Canada are intended to remain closed until April 14th. The re-openings are dependent on state stay-in-place orders and the readiness of each facility to return to work. The announcement both came after President Donald Trump announced he wants the U.S. economy to open back up by Easter Sunday.
Urged by the United Auto Workers union, Ford, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors announced plans to temporarily shutter their plants due to the coronavirus on March 18. Ford initially wanted to reopen its North American plants on March 30, however withdrew that timeline earlier this week because of various stay-at-home orders.
Shares of Ford were down by almost 5% during pre-market trading, and remained down by 2% following the announcement. Fiat Chrysler shares were trading up 1.1% following the company’s announcement. GM’s stock was up 4.4%.
Neither company has released a plant-by-plant breakdown of openings. Fiat Chrysler, according to a statement, “continues to take important steps to help flatten the curve of the spread of COVID-19, and put the health and safety of our workforce, and the communities where we live and work first.”