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Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler restart North American factories amid coronavirus



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Detroit Free Press

Before sunrise on Monday, tens of thousands of auto workers will return to work in factories in Detroit, Chicago, Toledo, Louisville and Kansas City as the Detroit Three resumes building vehicles.

Closed since the end of March due to the coronavirus, with hourly workers and employees taking refuge at home, companies in need of cash are impatient to operate the lines safely. Now companies are restarting factories all over North America.

“Some people are anxious to return and others are worried. It’s a balance between the two, “said Bernie Ricke, president of UAW Local 600, which represents workers at the Ford Rouge complex.

“I think companies are doing everything they can to protect people’s health and safety,” he said on Sunday, noting that Dearborn Truck workers will work two 10-hour shifts while they work usually three-quarters to build the Ford F-150 pickup.

Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler have implemented new safety protocols that include thermal scanning for high temperatures, daily employee surveys that detect symptoms, and face masks.

As companies plan to spread the activity of factories, the list of manufacturing plants is staggering.

GM factories open on Monday

  • Bay City powertrain
  • Bedford Casting Operations
  • CAMI meeting in Ingersoll, Ontario
  • Defiance molding operations in Ohio
  • Flint assembly
  • Flint Engine
  • Fort Wayne Assembly in Roanoke, Indiana
  • GMCH Grand Rapids
  • GMCH Kokomo in Indiana
  • GMCH Rochester in New York
  • Lansing Delta Assembly
  • Orion assembly at Lake Orion
  • Transmission from Toledo, Ohio
  • Tonawanda engine factory in New York
  • Romulus motor
  • Saginaw Metal Casting Operations
  • Spring Hill manufacturing in Tennessee
  • Transmission from Toledo, Ohio
  • Wentzville Missouri assembly

GM spokesman Jim Cain said the above factories will start with a single shift and that a total of about 12,000 hourly and paid workers will be posted to the factories as of Tuesday.

Previous reports said the GM Arlington plant started this week, but GM said it would start later this month. Cain said that the restart at Arlington has been postponed based on the suppliers’ expected delivery schedule, but “it will follow soon.”

The schedules of the GM factories in Silao and San Luis Petosi in Mexico are pending, he said.

Also opening later this month, the week of May 25, GM’s Bowling Green plant in Kentucky, which builds the Corvette and Corvette engines.

A full-size Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck is ready to exit the assembly line on June 12, 2019 at the Flint assembly plant. (Photo by Jeffrey Sauger for General Motors) (Photo: Jeffrey Sauger, Jeffrey Sauger for General Motors)

Fiat Chrysler factories open Monday

  • Jefferson North assembly plant in Detroit
  • Sterling Heights assembly plant
  • Sterling stamping plant
  • Assembly plant in Toledo, Ohio
  • Toledo machining plant
  • Trenton Motor Complex
  • Warren Stamping Plant
  • Warren Truck Assembly Plant

The seven FCA factories in Saltillo and Toluca, Mexico, are also slated to restart on Monday pending government approval for the auto industry.

FCA will open the Brampton assembly plant in Brampton, Ontario, Canada and the Windsor assembly plant in Ontario, Canada on Tuesday.

“Our employees, in collaboration with the UAW, have worked tirelessly for the past few weeks to implement a comprehensive, multi-layered program of enhanced security measures designed to protect our employees,” director Mark Stewart told Free Press of FCA North America operations. in a statement prepared on Sunday.

“The gradual restart of our operations will be a welcome sign of a return to normal and for this reason, each decision we have made regarding the restart of our operations has been focused on the priority of the health and safety of our employees” , did he declare.

On May 26, FCA will open:

  • Dundee engine factory
  • Indiana Transmission Plant 1 in Kokomo, Indiana
  • Kokomo casting plant
  • Kokomo transmission plant
  • Tipton Transmission Plant in Indiana

On June 1, the FCA will open its Belvidere assembly plant and Belvidere satellite stamping plant in Illinois, as well as the Etobicoke casting plant in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

More: The US auto industry is preparing for a restart – and it all depends on Mexico

The Jeep Wrangler assembly line at the Toledo North assembly plant in Toledo, Ohio, Friday, November 16, 2018. (Photo: Eric Seals, Detroit Free Press)

Ford factories open Monday

  • Chicago assembly plant
  • Dearborn truck factory
  • Assembly of flat rocks
  • Kansas City assembly in Claycomo, Missouri
  • Kentucky truck plant in Louisville, Kentucky
  • Louisville assembly plant
  • Michigan assembly plant at Wayne
  • Ohio assembly plant at Avon Lake
  • Woodhaven Forge
  • Dearborn engine and fuel tank
  • Cleveland Ohio Engine Plant
  • Lima engine plant in Ohio
  • Rawsonville component plant
  • Romeo engine factory
  • Buffalo Stamping Plant in New York
  • Chicago Stamping Plant
  • Dearborn Manufacturing Plant
  • Dearborn Tool and Die
  • Dearborn Stamping Plant
  • Woodhaven stamping plant
  • Livonia transmission plant
  • Transmission plant in Sharonville, Ohio
  • Sterling axle factory
  • Van Dyke Transmission

Plans to open Ford operations in Mexico remain fluid. The Cuautitlan Stamping and Assembly and the Hermosillo Stamping and Assembly are slated to open on Monday pending government approval.

On Tuesday, the Windsor and Essex engine factories in Ontario, Canada opened. Ford will later open the Flat Rock assembly plant and assembly in Oakville, Ontario, Canada on May 26.

Kelli Felker, global director of manufacturing and communications at Ford, said, “We look forward to welcoming our employees to our facilities with all of the appropriate security protocols in place to keep them healthy and safe on site of work. “

A Ford F-150 truck leaves the line on May 18, 2018 at Dearborn Truck Plant. (Photo: Ford Motor Co.)

More: GM predicts that it will return to full production in about 4 weeks

More: UAW chief “encouraged” by Ford plant safety protocols as reopening date is contemplated

More: What will happen in Mexico in the next 2 weeks will be crucial for Detroit

150,000 people

UAW President Rory Gamble, who was cautious and worried about rushing to restart too soon, said on Sunday that businesses and their workers were ready. The UAW represents approximately 150,000 members employed by the Detroit Three in the United States and Canada.

“We would like to thank the many members of the UAW who worked so hard throughout the closure to keep the factories ready for today, as well as the members who worked to reconfigure the factories for everyone’s safety.” said Gamble in prepared remarks.

“The UAW will continue to do everything we can to protect the health and safety of all members when the factories reopen,” he said. “And we will continue to advocate for as many tests as possible and full tests as soon as they are available.”

Contact Phoebe Wall Howard at 313-222-6512or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @phoebesaid. Subscribe to our automotive newsletter.

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