These are the plants COVID-19 won't stop.
These are certainly troubling times as the world fights back against the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. With millions of people out of work and a global recession very likely, there are far more questions than answers available. Automakers have also been forced to shut down production at factories everywhere in order to ensure the health of employees.
However, it is possible to disinfect these factories and develop new procedures to keep line workers at a required distance from one another. Ford has just announced that it plans to restart production at several of its North American plants as early as April 6.
For now, not all of its facilities will be going back online but the following will on April 14:
• Dearborn Stamping Plant in Michigan
• Dearborn Diversified Manufacturing Plant in Michigan
• Integrated stamping plants within Kansas City and Kentucky Truck plants
• Sharonville Transmission Plant
• Portions of Van Dyke Transmission, Lima Engine and Rawsonville Components plants, also located in in Michigan
Its Hermosillo Assembly Plant in Mexico will be turning the lights back on for one shift on April 6. The automaker did not specifically state what new safety measures it'll be introducing but employees can be confident health authorities were consulted and approved of these new directives.
It's worth noting that the Kentucky Truck Plant is where the hot-selling Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator are built, while Kansas City is home to the always popular Ford F-150 and Transit van. Hermosillo is home to the Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ. The other plants build parts. Ford also says that it continues "to assess public health conditions as well as supplier readiness and will adjust plans if necessary."
Assuming these plants go back online successfully, chances are additional shifts will be added as needed and, perhaps, more facilities in North America and elsewhere will crank back online as well. Finally, some good news to report as COVID-19 dominates the airwaves.
Meanwhile, Volkswagen and Honda have also both announced they will re-start production on April 5 and April 7, respectively. VW in Chattanooga, Tennessee and Honda's vehicle, engine, and transmission plants in the US and Canada will all be going back online. Originally, Honda intended to get things going again on March 31, but it's apparently taking a bit more time to get the factory ready and new procedures ensuring the health of workers finalized. Better late than never.