Home Business Fiat Chrysler extends manufacturing shutdown until May 4

Fiat Chrysler extends manufacturing shutdown until May 4

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV announced Monday that it will be stopping manufacturing in the U.S. and Canada until May 4 amid the COVID-19 epidemic.

The automaker previously said the facility would remain closed until April 13, but national experts expect coronavirus cases to continue to increase. Governor Gretchen Whitmer said on Monday an extension to the state’s home stay order, which also expires April 13, could arrive next week as forecasts predict a peak in the event the state occurs late April or early May. Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. have already extended their downtime in North America indefinitely.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV announced Monday that it will be stopping manufacturing in the U.S. and Canada until May 4 amid the COVID-19 epidemic. (Photo: Paul Sancya, AP)

“FCA continues to make the health and well-being of its employees a top priority,” the automaker said in a statement. “With this in mind, FCA intends to gradually restart its manufacturing facilities in the United States and Canada from May 4. “

Mexico’s restart date will be announced differently, the company added. Parts distribution centers continue to operate with paid volunteers.

The company has not specified whether the proposed restart date would include the reopening of its Auburn Hills headquarters or major construction projects such as its new assembly plant on the east side of Detroit.

“We currently have teams working on our plans to safely and responsibly accommodate our office workers, all of whom are conceived with their health and well-being as a top priority,” said a company spokesperson. in an email. “As we continue to work on our restart plans, we will communicate these details to our employees at a later date. “

FCA began closing factories on March 18 in North America. By then, May 4 is 47 days – longer than the 40-day national auto workers’ strike against GM last fall in collective bargaining. GM said it lost $ 3.6 billion in production during the work stoppage.

GM continues to monitor the situation, “and when it is determined that we can safely resume regular production, we will,” the company said.

GM has a small number of volunteer staff at its Spring Hill, Tennessee propulsion plant, who are working to upgrade its line of 6.2-liter V8 engines to be compatible with new SUV technology. GM will begin production this spring in Arlington, Texas, the company says. The Detroit automaker continues to ask for volunteers earlier this week to build the current SUV models in Arlington.

“This job is expected to take a week or less, after which all volunteers will be dismissed,” said the automaker. “This temporary restart of work to complete the construction of the current models is only done at Arlington Assembly, the other GM sites are not affected.”

Although Ford has not yet provided a restart date, CEO Jim Hackett last week said he expects the downtime to extend into May. Its European manufacturing operations, which are considered to be ahead of the US COVID-19 curve, will remain closed until at least May 4, the company announced last week.

Honda Motor Co. Ltd. has also announced that it will extend its closure in the United States and Canada until May 1. Toyota Motor Co. facilities will remain closed until April 17 and production will resume on April 20. Volkswagen AG, meanwhile, has announced plans to resume production on Sunday in Tennessee. Production suspension for Hyundai Motor Co. in Alabama is until Friday. Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. says factories in Tennessee and Mississippi will remain closed “until the end of April”.

Fiat Chrysler also said it was working with government and union officials to implement new procedures to protect its workers, including the removal of workstations and the issuance of a thorough cleanup.

“As a result of these actions,” added the company, “we will only restart our operations with safe, secure and sanitized workplaces to protect all of our employees. “

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