As the COVID-19 (or Coronavirus) crisis continues to spread across the globe, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has announced that it will suspension production temporarily of all its North American plants to help protect its employees. FCA had already suspended production of most of its European operations and now after one of the employees at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan has tested positive for the COVID-19, the decision was made to close North American operations.
This means that the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Saltillo, Mexico that builds the Ram Heavy Duty and Chassis Cab trucks will also halt production for the time being. FCA has released the following statement about the situation…
“Working with the UAW and listening to the concerns of our people, we have agreed to cease production at our plants across North America, starting progressively from today through the end of March. While production is paused, the Company will put actions into place to facilitate the steps agreed to through the joint task-force set up between the UAW and the automakers. Through this period, which we will re-evaluate at the end of this 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.
Commenting on this action, FCA CEO, Mike Manley said: “Working with the UAW, and having visited many of our plants yesterday, we need to ensure employees feel safe at work and that we are taking every step possible to protect them. We will continue to do what is right for our people through this period of uncertainty.”
With our priority towards the health and safety of our workforce, we are also evaluating the impact of all steps being taken inside the company related to the Coronavirus emergency on our current financial guidance. We will provide an update on our financial guidance when that evaluation is complete and we have sufficient visibility on market conditions.”