The automakers have been hit quite hard by the COVID-19 crisis. Most are reporting a first-quarter loss… FCA has a net loss of $1.84- billion U.S.; Ford lost $2-billion in the first quarter as did GM.
Ford is starting to bring their European plants back online but have not yet decided on a timeline for the plants in the U.S. and Canada.
Mike Manley, Fiat Chrysler CEO said his company is planning to start opening up factories May 18 in the U.S. (except in Belvidere, Ill.) and Canada. FCA is making sure their facilities are secure, safe and disinfected. The plant in Mexico will remain closed. UAW in the U.S. and Unifor here in Canada are not opposed to this restart. They could be the first of the Big Three to get back to work in North America.
GM in Canada has been making face masks at the closed Oshawa, Ontario plant for frontline workers and other Canadians. In Michigan, GM workers will be required to wear PPE when they return to work. The UAW and GM are implementing new safety measures for their employees.
General Motors informed all employees they must wear face masks, but notes social distancing is impossible for workers on assembly lines… and some workers may have a problem wearing PPE due to a medical problem. GM also notes that there will be disinfectant products on every shift.
All automakers are diligently putting safety effects into place for the health and safety of all their employees.