- Pressure from the United Auto Workers and its members has succeeded in plant closures.
- Detroit 3 automakers GM, FCA and Ford will shut down its production lines until at least March 30.
- Exhaustive cleaning procedures and new social distancing protocols will be put into place.
After pressure from the United Auto Workers and its own employees regarding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic ordeal, the Detroit 3 will be shutting down production at its North American assembly plants until March 30.
By Detroit 3, we’re obviously talking about General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ford Motor Company. The decision to shut down production lines was made despite previously agreeing with the UAW to slow down operations late last night. That likely wasn’t enough for employees to feel safe.
The three domestic automakers have created a coronavirus COVID-19 task force in order to battle the pandemic. They have all announced deep-clean measures in addition to setting up new protocols to keep the premises bacteria-free when their employees will return to work, in addition to improve social distancing to avoid contamination and further quarantining.
The Detroit 3’s plants will be shut down until March 30, but the situation might not improve until then, and a longer production suspension might be announced in a few days.
“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.”
“We’re continuing to work closely with union leaders, especially the United Auto Workers, to find ways to help keep our workforce healthy and safe – even as we look at solutions for continuing to provide the vehicles customers really want and need,” said Kumar Galhotra, Ford’s president of North America. “In these unprecedented times, we’re exploring unique and creative solutions to support our workforce, customers, dealers, suppliers and communities.”
“Working with the UAW, and having visited many of our plants yesterday, we need to ensure employees feel safe at work and that we are taking every step possible to protect them,” stated FCA CEO Mike Manley. “We will continue to do what is right for our people through this period of uncertainty.”
Earlier this week, each of Detroit 3’s members confirmed at least one Michigan-based employee had contracted the coronavirus—at GM’s Cole Engineering Center, at FCA’s Sterling Heights assembly plant and at Ford’s Wayne assembly plant.
As the U.S. and Canadian populations are ordered by their respective governments to stay home, sales in dealerships will be dropping significantly.
Financial aid has been announced by the Detroit 3 for customers who are sidelined from work due to the coronavirus outbreak, with measures such as delayed load and lease payments, first-payment delays for new-vehicle buyers, 0% financing for up to 84 months as well as online shopping with home delivery.