With vehicle assembly plants scheduled to reopen on Monday, the U.S automotive industry is slowly returning back to its normalcy. The suppliers are also gearing up in support of the move, as the said sector employs as much as 1 million people who seeks to recover from the pandemic.
Ford Motor Co, GM, FCA all have been preparing for many weeks to reopen their North American factories, in order to restart work in such an industry that accounts for as much as 6 percent of U.S economic activity. For many of the automakers and their suppliers, restart is a very important step to end the cash drain caused by the lockdown, that forced them to shut their factories. Now the emphasis would be on starting the assembly line ready, once again, mostly by producing profitable products like Jeep Wrangler, Chevrolet Suburban SUV and F-150 Pick truck from Ford.
“Ultimately we’re in this together. Because if we don’t build trucks, Ford Motor Company is gone,” said Todd Dunn, president of UAW Local 862, which represents more than 14,000 hourly workers at Ford’s two Kentucky assembly plants.
U.S President Donald Trump will tour a Ford’s manufacturing plant in Michigan on Thursday. This particular plant in Michigan has been repurposed to make ventilators and personal protective equipment.
The truck plant in Kentucky, that builds various Super Duty Pickups and SUVs, will restart with two shifts, whereas the Louisville Assembly Plant will resume with only one shift. According to a spokesperson from Ford, plants that were running on three shifts before the shutdown will reopen with two, and those that were operating with two shifts will restart with one.
GM is also reopening its plants on one shift on Monday. The reopening will be a closely monitored test of whether employees across different industries can return to factories in large numbers, without spreading the infections.