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Ford is planning to restart production at key U.S. factories on April 14, following the current shutdown aimed at addressing the coronavirus pandemic.
The automaker will first resume production at the Hermosillo, Mexico, facility, where it builds the Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ sedans on April 6. Then it will restart plants where it builds F-Series trucks, Transit vans, E-Series cutaway vans and the bodies and components needed for them.
The F-Series is the best-selling vehicle lineup in the U.S. and Ford’s combined truck sales accounted for half of its output in 2019.
The affected U.S. locations are:
- Dearborn Truck Plant
- Kentucky Truck Plant
- Kansas City Assembly Plant Transit line
- Ohio Assembly PLant
- Dearborn Stamping Plant
- Dearborn Diversified Manufacturing Plant
- Integrated stamping plants within Kansas City and Kentucky Truck plants
- Sharonville Transmission Plant
- Portions of Van Dyke Transmission, Lima Engine and Rawsonville Components plants
Hermosillo is scheduled to be retooled this year to switch from building the Fusion and MKZ to the Transit Connect minivan, which is primarily sold as a commercial vehicle.
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Ford North America president Kumar Galhotra said in a press release announcing the moves that new measures were being put in place at the facilities to better protect workers from the spread of the coronavirus.
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On Tuesday, UAW president Rory Gamble told UAW members that the union and Ford “will be collaborating to find ways to help improve and protect lives across the country during this crisis,” but on Thursday the UAW told Fox Business Network that “we are reviewing with great concern and caution today’s announcement. Our priority is the health and safety of our members, their families and the American public.”
The comments came after the union confirmed that two U.S. Fiat Chrysler factory workers had died after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Ford has not offered a timetable the resumption of production at its other manufacturing facilities.