“While the impact of coronavirus at our facilities so far has been limited thankfully, its effects on our workers, dealers, suppliers and customers, as well as European society as a whole, is unprecedented,” said Stuart Rowley, the president of Ford Europe.
“Due to the dramatic impact this ongoing crisis is having on the European market and the supplier industry – together with the latest 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 stated it would idle factories located in Cologne and Saarlouis in Germany, as well as its Craiova plant located in Romania, beginning Thursday, March 19.
Ford’s Valencia assembly and engine facility in Spain already halted production from Monday, March 16, after three employees were confirmed with coronavirus during the past weekend, the company stated. Only essential work, such as maintenance and security, will remain on-going onsite.
Ford noted that supplies to automaker’s manufacturing sites in Europe have been increasingly disrupted, while sales of vehicles across the industry have decreased with dealerships required to temporarily close their sales operations in some nations.
But the automaker stressed that the servicing of vehicles is referred to as an important societal need and Ford dealerships are continuing to provide essential maintenance and service throughout the continent.
Ford stated the temporary suspension could last for last for weeks and it will largely depend on situation, national restrictions, supplier constraints and dealer stock needs and that the action taken as national governments limit all but essential travel and personal contact.