Ford, FCA announce tentative plans to resume production

Two of the biggest North American automakers announced tentative plans Thursday to resume auto production in coming weeks.

Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are both aiming for an early- to mid-April resumption of vehicle production.

Ford said Thursday its Sharonville transmission plant could reopen as early as April 14.

Much of the Dayton and Springfield areas’ economic health is linked to the auto manufacturing supply chain, among big and small companies, including DMAX, Tenneco, Navistar, Fuyao Glass America and many others.

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Many of the current layoffs in the Dayton area and Ohio are tied to the auto industry.

“Ford is aiming to restart production at select plants in North America as early as April 6, bringing key plants back online while the company introduces additional safety measures to protect returning workers,” Kumar Galhotra, Ford’s president of North America, said in a statement Thursday.

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Ford is planning to resume production at its Hermosillo Assembly Plant on April 6 on one shift. Then on April 14, Ford is planning to start building vehicles at the Dearborn and Kentucky truck plants, Kansas City assembly plant’s transit line and Ohio assembly plant.

To support these assembly plants, Ford also is aiming to resume production April 14 in Sharonville, its Dearborn stamping plant, Dearborn diversified manufacturing plant and integrated stamping plants within Kansas City and Kentucky truck plants.

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Fiat Chrysler later Thursday said its plants in the U.S. and Canada and construction projects “are intended to remain closed until April 14.”

The company said the reopenings will be “dependent upon the various state stay-in-place orders and the readiness of each facility to return to production.”

Honda in Ohio has ceased vehicle production until April 7.

“During this time, Honda will continue to provide opportunities for associates to be paid including providing full pay for some non-production days and pulling ahead vacation for others,” Honda said in its statement on Thursday. “Honda will utilize this time to continue deep cleaning of its production facilities and common areas to further protect associates upon their return to the plants.”

General Motors has not offered a restart date. It has shut down North American operations until beyond at least March 30.

Reuters news service said it saw an email from GM to suppliers saying “given the unprecedented circumstances, exactly when we will resume production is unclear.”

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