COVID-19

Here's how each U.S. automaker's plants are responding to the coronavirus outbreak

General Motors, Ford, and FCA plants are among those shut down by the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Photo courtesy of General Motors

Toyota, Ford, and Nissan, among others, all rely on American labor to manufacture and assemble their vehicles for sale in the U.S. The list of automakers effected by the COVID-19 pandemic is all-encompassing. Below, AutomotiveMap rounds up how each company is responding.

BMW

BMW Plant Spartanburg South Carolina

Photo courtesy of BMW

UPDATE: The plant is now closed through April 30.

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UPDATE: BMW's Spartanburg plant is closed through April 12.

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According to reporting by the Greenville News, production at BMW Upstate has not been effected by the coronavirus outbreak as of the afternoon of Wednesday, March 18.

FCA

Toledo Assembly Complex Jeep Wrangler

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

UPDATE: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV on April 6 said it is extending its manufacturing shutdown in the United States and Canada until May 4

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UPDATE: According to a release, "FCA plants across the U.S. and Canada, as well as headquarters operations and construction projects, are intended to remain closed until April 14, dependent upon the various states' stay-in-place orders and the readiness of each facility to return to production. The Mopar Parts Distribution Centers, which have been deemed essential to keeping first responders and commercial vehicles on the road, will continue to operate with paid volunteers. The status of production for FCA's Mexico operations will be subject to a separate announcement."

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FCA began to cease production at their plants across North America, starting March 18 - a move that will continue through the end of March. At the end of the month, FCA will work to enhance its manufacturing operations to facilitate the changes agreed with the UAW including shift timings, structures and enhanced cleaning protocols.

FCA has 27 plants across the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.

Ford

Ford Kansas City Assembly Plant

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

UPDATE: On March 31, Ford announced new plans for the reopening of facilities. All but one of its North American plants will remain closed until further notice. Rawsonville Components Plant will restart the week of April 20 to produce the Model A-E ventilator, in collaboration with GE Healthcare, supported by paid volunteer UAW workers.

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UPDATE: On March 26, Ford announced that they are aiming to restart production at select plants in North America as early as April 6. Ford is planning to resume production at Hermosillo Assembly Plant on April 6 on one shift. On April 14, Ford is planning to start building vehicles at Dearborn Truck Plant, Kentucky Truck Plant, 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 at:

  • 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

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Production at Ford's U.S., Canadian and Mexican plants will be halted after March 19's evening shifts to through March 30 to thoroughly clean and sanitize the facilities.

Ford temporarily closed Michigan Assembly Plant (MAP) final assembly building yesterday after an employee tested positive for Covid-19 and is thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting the building, as promised as part of the company's coronavirus emergency response protocol. That plant will close starting the evening of March 19 through March 30.

General Motors

Detroit-Hamtramck Plant Last Impala

Photo courtesy of General Motors

On March 18, General Motors began what they're calling a "systematic orderly suspension" of manufacturing operations in North America. The suspension will last until at least March 30. Production status will be reevaluated week-to-week after that.

General Motors has 32 plants in North America.

Honda

Marysville Auto Plant Honda

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

UPDATE: Honda Motor Co on April 7 said that it had furloughed workers at its U.S. plants, which will be closed until May 1. They are set to resume production May 4.

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UPDATE: On April 2, Honda announced that they have extended the production suspension previously announced for all of its automobile, engine and transmission plants in the U.S. and Canada through April 10.

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On March 18, Honda announced that it would adjust production at all of its automobile production plants in North America, including the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Those plants include:

  • Performance Manufacturing Center (Ohio)
  • Marysville Auto Plant (Ohio)
  • East Liberty Auto Plant (Ohio)
  • Honda Manufacturing of Indiana (Indiana)
  • Honda Manufacturing of Alabama(Alabama)
  • Honda of Canada Manufacturing – Plants 1 & 2
  • Honda de Mexico – Celaya Auto Plant

Honda will suspend production for six days beginning March 23, with current plans to return to production on Tuesday, March 31. Honda transmission and engine plants in North America that serve Honda auto plants also will suspend production for the same time period. Honda will reduce production by approximately 40,000 vehicles during that time.

During this time, Honda will continue full pay for all of its approximately 27,600 associates in North America.

Additionally, Honda will utilize this time to deep clean its production facilities and common areas.

Hyundai

Hyundai Motor Manufacturing

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

UPDATE: Hyundai is planning to resume work on May 4.

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UPDATE: Hyundai has extended the suspension of production until April 10. The company's approximately 3,000 team members will continue to be compensated until April 3, 2020. From April 6 through April 9, team members can choose to use vacation time for compensation; Good Friday, April 10, is a paid holiday. During this shutdown period, approximately one hundred team members will continue to be on site each day to support essential functions

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Hyundai has taken numerous steps to protect their employees during the pandemic. The company is increasing the frequency of cleaning in high-touch areas like door knobs/handles, elevator buttons, and counter tops. They're restricting visitors at Hyundai facilities and have suspended training sessions at all Hyundai Training Centers.

At Hyundai Motor Manufacturing (HMMA) in Alabama, one of the members of its workforce tested positive for Covid-19 on March 18. All team members were notified of the situation.

Beginning March 18, Hyundai suspended production in all areas of HMMA and deployed sanitation measures across the entire facility.

HMMA has also suspended public tours.

Kia

Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

UPDATE: KMMG is aiming to reopen on April 27.

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UPDATE: According to a release, "Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. (KMMG) will suspend production at its West Point, Ga. facility effective Monday, March 30. Operations will be halted for two weeks, including a previously planned shutdown April 6-10 for new model equipment changes. Production is planned to resume on Monday, April 13."

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The Atlanta Business Chronicle is reporting that Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG) will stop production for two days, resuming on March 23, in reaction to supply chain issues.

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz U.S. International

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International

UPDATE: On April 3, Mercedes-Benz announced that MBUSI now plans to restart on April 13th.

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The German automaker has not announced any closures or production slowdowns related to the coronavirus pandemic at its Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI) plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama as of the afternoon of March 19.

Nissan

Nissan Canton Assembly Plant

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

UPDATE: In North America, Nissan is planning on reopening in mid-May.

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UPDATE: Nissan has extended its shutdown until "late April".

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Nissan has announced that it will temporarily suspend production of its manufacturing facilities in the U.S. from March 20 to April 6. According to a statement, "Currently, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 coronavirus at any Nissan facility. Areas deemed business-essential will operate with enhanced safety measures."

Subaru

Subaru of American Inc.

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

UPDATE: Subaru aims to restart production May 8.

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UPDATE: SIA has extended its shutdown through Friday, April 17. Only limited personnel will be working on-site during this time.

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Workers at Subaru of Indiana Automotive continue to work but non-essential visitors are banned in response to the outbreak. The plant will fully close on March 23 and remain closed through at least March 29.

Tesla

Tesla Fremont Factory

Photo courtesy of Tesla

After initially protesting and taking a stand against the government-enforced shutdown of its Fremont manufacturing plant, Tesla appears to have acquiesced.

According to USA Today, "On Tuesday, the auto maker's factory in Fremont, California, was declared a "nonessential business" after Alameda County enacted a shelter-in-place order, which could have led to a complete shutdown. NBC Bay Area reports the factory will remain open with a smaller workforce for 'minimum basic operations.'"

Toyota

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

UPDATE: On April 7, Toyota announced that all U.S. production operations will be closed until May 1.

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UPDATE: The manufacturing facilities will remain closed through April 17, resuming production on April 20.

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Toyota has temporarily suspended production at all of its automobile and components plants in North America, including Canada, Mexico and the U.S. The manufacturing facilities will be closed from March 23-24, resuming production on March 25, 2020. The company's service parts depots and vehicle logistics centers will continue to operate.

Volkswagen

Volkswagen Chattanooga plant

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

UPDATE: Volkswagen plans to restart its plants on May 3.

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UPDATE: Volkswagen of America said on April 9 that it will furlough production and maintenance workers at at its Chattanooga plant starting April 11. The company is expecting the furloughs to last no more than four weeks.

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UPDATE: The automaker is planning to resume production Sunday, April 12 at 10 p.m.

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VW's Chattanooga production facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee has announced that it will close starting March 21. All workers will receive full pay during the shutdown.

Volvo

Volvo plant operation

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

UPDATE: Volvo intends to restart operations at its South Carolina plant on May 4.

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Volvo has announced that it will idle its South Carolina plant from March 26 to April 14. This news comes on the heels of an announcement that all the company's China plants are back open.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The 2021 Ford F-150 will come in a hybrid variant

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

If Ford is making anything clear these days, it’s that the future all-electric F-150 won’t just just a mundane street car. The future model will be capable of achieving the same feats as the rest of the company’s family of full-size pickup trucks, if not with more gusto than its relatives.

Ford has confirmed that the battery-electric (BEV) F-150 will be on sale in just a few years. To get to that point, there’s a lot of work that isn’t just going into product development, but also into facilities development. Demand for the F-150 BEV is expected to be high and Ford’s Rouge Complex can’t absorb it as the plant stands now.

Ford Rouge Complex The Ford plant in Dearborn will be the home of the F-150 electric truck.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The company will invest $700 million in the Dearborn, Michigan plant to include a new high-tech manufacturing home for the model. The investment will add 300 jobs. This $700 million is on top of the $1.45 billion that Ford is spending to equip its Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan to produce the Ranger and Bronco.

"We are proud to once again build and innovate for the future here at the Rouge with the debut of our all-new F-150 and the construction of a modern new manufacturing center to build the first-ever all-electric F-150," said Bill Ford, executive chairman, Ford Motor Company. "This year's COVID-19 crisis made it clear why it is so important for companies like Ford to help keep our U.S. manufacturing base strong and help our country get back to work."

The all-electric Ford F-150 is expected to come to market in mid-2022. The redesigned 2021 F-150 will come to market later this year and include a new hybrid powertrain option dubbed the F-150 PowerBoost.

Recently, the company captured video of the F-1500 BEV testing in the wild.

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Volkswagen has chosen a name for its new SUV.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The forthcoming new Volkswagen SUV will be called the Taos after the town in New Mexico. The name was chosen to specifically appeal to North American customers, who are the target market for the SUV, which Will slot below the Tiguan in the VW lineup.

“We're thrilled to announce the name for the newest member of the Volkswagen family," said Hein Schafer, Senior Vice President for Product Marketing and Strategy, Volkswagen of America, Inc. "It was important to choose a name that really embodied the nature of the car and the town of Taos, New Mexico was a perfect fit. It's a small city that offers big things—from outdoor adventure to arts and design and great cuisine."

Taos New Mexico Taos, New Mexico is the namesake for a forthcoming Volkswagen model.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

"We are excited that Volkswagen has named their sport utility vehicle after the town of Taos," said Taos Mayor Dan Barrone. "It's a great opportunity for our community to share its rich history and culture alongside Volkswagen with its unique and rich history and culture."

Taos, New Mexico is a thriving small town of 6,000 people. It has a 400-year history and a 1,000-year-old Native American community just a few miles from the center fo town. Artists and skiers flock to the city, which is noted for its stunning landscapes.

Incidentally, Taos was also home to John Muir, an engineer turned mechanic, and author of "How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual of Step-by-Step procedures for the Compleat Idiot." First published in 1969, and illustrated by local artist Peter Aschwanden, this counter-culture guide to Volkswagen repairs quickly developed a popular following. The book, started in Muir's Taos shop, has helped keep countless VW models running, from Beetles and Buses to Type 3 and Type 4 models.

Volkswagen promises that the new Taos “will offer great value, excellent fuel economy, and great packaging, as well as advanced infotainment and driver-assistance features”.

The 2022 Volkswagen Taos will be revealed on October 13.

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