Ford is shutting down factories in Europe amid worsening coronavirus outbreak (F)


europe ford factory

  • Ford is idling its factories in Europe amid the worsening COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
  • The automaker will shut down plants in Germany and Romania on Thursday after halting production at a factory in Spain after three COVID-19 cases emerged there.
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On Tuesday, Ford announced it would shut down its manufacturing facilities in Europe, as the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic sweeps through the continent.

“While the impact of coronavirus at our facilities so far has been limited thankfully, its effects on our employees, dealers, suppliers and customers, as well as European society as a whole, is unprecedented,” Ford Europe president Stuart Rowley said in a statement.

“Due to the dramatic impact this ongoing crisis is having on the European market and the supplier industry – together with the recent actions by countries to restrict all but essential travel and personal contact – we are temporarily halting production at our main continental Europe manufacturing sites.”

Ford said it would idle factories in Cologne and Saarlouis in Germany, as well as its Craiova plant in Romania, beginning Thursday, March 19.

“Ford’s Valencia assembly and engine facility in Spain already temporarily halted production from Monday, March 16, after three workers were confirmed with coronavirus over the past weekend,” the company said. “Only essential work, such as maintenance and security, will continue onsite.”

Ford noted that “supplies to Ford manufacturing sites in Europe have been increasingly interrupted, while sales of vehicles across the industry have declined with dealerships required to temporarily close their sales operations in some countries.”

But the carmaker stressed that “the servicing of vehicles is regarded as an important societal need and Ford dealerships are continuing to provide essential maintenance and service across the continent.”

Ford said the temporary suspension could last for last for weeks “depending on pandemic situation, national restrictions, supplier constraints and dealer stock requirements” and that the “action taken as national governments restrict all but essential travel and personal contact.”

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