Ford, GM, and Fiat Chrysler production plants in North America have been closed since March.
The ongoing coronavirus crisis has brought the auto industry to a grinding halt. In the US, General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler shut down its production plants in response to the pandemic. It's going to be a long road to recovery and financial losses are inevitable, but some manufacturers are slowly resuming production.
This week, Volkswagen announced that the Golf is now back in production in Germany, albeit with a limited production capacity. Land Rover will also resume UK production on May 18. Now, the big three US automakers reportedly have a plan to get production up and running again within the next few weeks.
No official announcements have been made yet, but the Wall Street Journal reports that General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are planning to restart production on May 18. Citing sources familiar with the plans, the publication claims that executives have tentatively agreed the timeline after talks with United Auto Workers leaders and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer's office.
However, last week the head of the UAW union said it fears it's "too soon and too risky" to reopen auto plants and Michigan's economy in early May. In a statement, Ford said it has not yet confirmed when production in North America will resume.
"We are continuing to assess public health conditions, government guidelines, and supplier readiness to determine when the time is right to resume production," the automaker said. "Meanwhile, Ford and the UAW continue working closely on initiatives to keep the workforce safe when we do restart our plants."
General Motors also hasn't confirmed a start date yet, while FCA says it is re-evaluating plans to resume production in North American and "will communicate new restart dates in due course." Tesla, meanwhile, is planning to resume production at its plant in Freemont, California, on May 4, but employees in the paint and stamping operations are reportedly being asked to return to work as early as April 29.