May’s Possible Reopening of the US Auto Industry

Auto-developments and major changes in auto technology have seemingly come to a halt in the past few months as workers and manufacturers struggle to balance safety and labor. However, recently, automakers have begun an upward trend toward reopening production. Developers are finding ways for temperature checks, gloves, and masks to attribute to a healthy work environment. Automakers aspire to support production while maintaining safety standards.

President of the United Auto Workers Local 862 in Kentucky, Todd Dunn, said “I think a lot of a lot of Americans are ready to get our country back on target,” he says. “But … we’ve got to be able to put in some levels of precaution that we didn’t have before.”

Much anxiety runs through processing plants, as when workers remain in such close quarters, a spread of coronavirus is likely. The largest reasons for a stall in auto production are Mexico and Detroit’s lockdowns. Mexico’s stay at home order is applicable until at least mid-May, and the Detroit auto industry claims it cannot reopen until Mexico does. This is because about 40% of the country’s auto parts that are imported come from Mexico.

Companies such as Ford Motor Co. and General Motors have halted production for months but may reopen by the end of May. This is dependent on the production of necessary parts from prime auto-part production centers like Mexico and Canada, in addition to the impending decisions of the United States on what to keep closed and what to open once again.

“We’re not going to just flip a switch and everything’s going to be back to normal,” Sean Suggs, the president of a Toyota Corolla building plant, says.

He continued, “There is no going back to the normal way. We simply can’t operate the way we operated before COVID-19.”

Companies like General Motors state ongoing communication with the federal government and note that a mass reopening will be probable only when the United States, Mexico, and other key components of production are capable of moving forward in a steady, health-conscious fashion. For now, the reopening has proved meticulous and slow.