#Ford#3M#Assembly plant#Jim Hackett#Kumar Galhotra#Coronavirus#COVID-19#Ford North America#Bill Ford#GE Healthcare

Ford unwilling to reopen assembly plants because of COVID-19

Navin Mirania
|Mar 24|magazine8 min read

In a public statement, Kumar Galhotra, President of Ford North America, stated that the company would not be reopening its plants at the end of March.

Although Ford had been optimistic about the possibility, Galhotra’s statement makes it clear that the health of employees, dealers, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders must be given priority.

“In light of various governments’ orders to stay and work from home, Ford is not planning to restart our plants in the U.S., Canada and Mexico on Monday, March 30 as originally hoped,” said Galhotra. 

However, far from being idle, he stated that Ford was still working hard to determine the optimal time to resume operations.

“We are assessing various options and working with union leaders – including the United Auto Workers and Unifor – on the optimal timing for resuming vehicle production, keeping the well-being of our workforce top of mind.”

Collaborating to help coronavirus patients

Ford also recently announced that it was bringing its manufacturing and engineering acumen to a partnership with 3M and GE Healthcare. The trio’s purpose is to ease the strain on medical equipment as workers fight COVID-19.

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Ford will assist in the building of respirators and ventilators for patients, as well as 100,000 face shields per week using its 3D printing capabilities. 

“Working with 3M and GE, we have empowered our teams of engineers and designers to be scrappy and creative to quickly help scale up production of this vital equipment,” said Jim Hackett, President and CEO. 

“We’ve been in regular dialogue with federal, state and local officials to understand the areas of greatest needs.”

Meanwhile, Bill Ford, Executive Chairman, emphasised that it was a crucial time in American business to come together, pool resources and work for the greater good.

“This is such a critical time for America and the world. It is a time for action and cooperation. By coming together across multiple industries, we can make a real difference for people in need and for those on the front lines of this crisis.

“At Ford, we feel a deep obligation to step up and contribute in times of need, just as we always have through the 117-year history of our company,” he added. 

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