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Ford To Keep European Plants Shuttered Until May 4

Ford plans to keep its European manufacturing sites shuttered for another month. Meantime, the workforce is assisting various sites and agencies as they help to mitigate the damage caused by the COVID-19 plague.

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Ford will keep its plants shuttered for another month as the COVID-19 plague continues to rage throughout the continent. The automaker will also keep its U.S. plants shuttered as well. Ford's production plans are detailed in a story that I wrote about Ford's U.S. planning.

Ford’s Main Manufacturing Sites

The shutdown affects the manufacturer’s main European manufacturing sites:

  1. Saarlouis
  2. Cologne
  3. Valencia
  4. Craiova, Romania
  5. Bridgend
  6. Dagenham

According to Stuart Rowley, president of Ford of Europe, "It's important we give our employees as much clarity as possible on how long the present situation is likely to continue."

Ford Is Hopeful About Situation

He continued that the automaker is "hopeful the situation will improve in the coming month." Meantime, he noted, their plans to "restart operations, however, will continue to be informed by prevailing conditions and guidance of national governments."

Ford’s production restart plans depend:

  1. Heavily on the pandemic situation in the weeks ahead
  2. National restrictions in operation at the time
  3. Supplier constraints
  4. The ability of the dealer network to operate

The company's "return to work" plan also will encompass appropriate measures on social distancing and other health and safety protocols to protect its workforce. Current work arrangements in place for employees supporting production activities, as well as those still performing critical roles at non-manufacturing sites who are working remotely, will continue.

Ford Employees Fight Coronavirus

At the same time, Ford and its employees are engaged in many activities across Europe to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus – COVID-19 – by supporting national initiatives and community-focused events. These range from manufacturing medical equipment such as facemasks and ventilators, to providing camp beds to health personnel and donating vehicles for many uses, including the distribution of critical medical services, food deliveries and emergency transport. Members of the UAW (United Auto Workers) are working to fight the coronavirus even as some of their models have experienced sales success.

The company is also partnering with various NGOs, organizations, and charities to provide support across Europe in local communities. The Ford Fund announced this week a new global initiative to match Ford employee donations and benefit charities in six European markets.

Ford has shuttered most of its European production sites except for a small number of business-critical activities.

In addition to the suspension of production sites, Ford has halted the operations of locations across Europe. A small number of sites have remained open because of the business-critical nature of their activities.

Ford Will Communicate Plans

Ford plans to let its workforce know about production restart plans as soon as the automaker firms up all details.

Marc Stern has been an auto writer since 1971. It was a position that filled two boyhood dreams: One was that I would write, and two that I write about cars. When I took over as my newspaper's auto editor, I began a 32-year career as an automotive columnist. There isn't much on four wheels that I haven't driven or reviewed. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, and others. Today, I am the Ford F150 reporter for Torque News. I write how-to and help columns for online sites such as and others. You can follow me on Twitter or Facebook. Most of Marc's stories can be found at Torque News Ford coverage. Check back again and search for Torque News Ford F-150 news for more F-150 truck news coverage.

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