Ford shuts two U.S. assembly plants due to COVID-19 infections

FILE PHOTO: A Ford Motor assembly employee works on a 2018 Ford F150 pick-up truck at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant throughout the 100-year celebration of the Ford River Rouge Complex in Dearborn, Michigan U.S. September 27, 2018. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo

DETROIT (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co on Wednesday closed two U.S. assembly plants because the coronavirus pandemic wreaked early havoc with the No. 2 U.S. automaker’s plan to restart North American manufacturing and start making its most worthwhile automobiles once more.

Ford closed its Dearborn, Michigan, plant due to a optimistic COVID-19 take a look at by one employee, whereas its Chicago assembly plant was closed due to a components scarcity, Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker mentioned.

Ford declined to say which provider had the difficulty, however an individual conversant in the matter informed Reuters that Lear Corp had closed a plant in Hammond, Indiana. Lear later confirmed in an electronic mail that it had closed the plant due to a optimistic take a look at.

It was the second day in a row Ford had closed its Chicago plant, after closing it twice on Tuesday after two staff on completely different shifts additionally examined optimistic. Both the Dearborn and Chicago plants are anticipated to resume manufacturing afterward Wednesday, Felker mentioned.

In the Dearborn and Chicago optimistic assessments, all publicity occurred outdoors the office, Felker mentioned. Dearborn builds the extremely worthwhile F-150 pickup truck, whereas the Chicago plant makes the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator SUVs.

The U.S. auto business, together with Ford, reopened many plants on Monday after a protracted shutdown due to the outbreak. To guarantee protected operation amid the well being disaster, Ford and different automakers and suppliers imposed new security measures, together with screening staff who enter the constructing, mandating using face masks and face shields, and social distancing alongside the assembly line the place attainable.

The reopening of automobile plants will probably be a carefully watched take a look at of whether or not staff throughout a spread of U.S. industries will probably be ready to return to factories in giant numbers with out a resurgence of infections.

General Motors Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV mentioned on Wednesday that they had no points at any North American plants.

Reporting by Ben Klayman; Editing by Bernadette Baum, Marguerita Choy and Aditya Soni

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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