The Detroit Free Press is reporting that General Motors, along with Ford Motor Company, and FCA, have agreed to close all North American Manufacturing plants as a precaution against the Coronavirus.
The manufacturing shutdown will commence after Thursday evening shifts. The facilities will stay closed through March 30th to be cleaned and to protect the workforce. The decision was made after the big three met with UAW union leadership Wednesday.
The production stop comes at a time when GM has not been able to produce enough pickups for dealers to sell.
Analysts are not surprised at the shutdown, stating that there was no way the auto manufacturing sector would be immune from the coronavirus. Now, it’s just a matter of time to see how much the sector will be hurt.
General Motors Released This Update at 2:30pm
General Motors to Temporarily Suspend Production
DETROIT – Today, General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) confirmed it will begin a systematic orderly suspension of manufacturing operations in North America due to market conditions, to deep clean facilities and continue to protect people. The suspension will last until at least March 30. Production status will be reevaluated week-to-week after that.
“GM and the UAW have always put the health and safety of the people entering GM plants first, and we have agreed to a systematic, orderly suspension of production to aid in fighting COVID-19/coronavirus,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “We have been taking extraordinary precautions around the world to keep our plant environments safe and recent developments in North America make it clear this is the right thing to do now. I appreciate the teamwork of UAW President Rory Gamble, UAW Vice President Terry Dittes and local leadership as we take this unprecedented step.”
“UAW members, their families and our communities will benefit from today’s announcement with the certainty that we are doing all that we can to protect our health and safety during this pandemic,” said UAW President Rory Gamble. “This will give us time to review best practices and to prevent the spread of this disease. We appreciate General Motors’ actions today and will continue to work with them on health and safety plans to be implemented when we resume production.”
To ensure that production stops in a safe and orderly fashion, plants will suspend operations in a cadence, with each facility receiving specific instructions from manufacturing leadership.