Ford stopping production in India, South Africa as coronavirus spreads

Ford logo in their auto plant

Ford Motor stated on Monday it has decided to temporarily halt vehicle and engine production at its plants located in India, South Africa, Thailand and Vietnam in response to the increasing impact of the coronavirus.

In India, it started on March 21 and will be followed by other markets, the automaker said, adding that it will continue for several weeks.

“We are continuing to act in real time and taking added safety measures by temporarily stopping production at our manufacturing sites in the international markets,” International Markets Group President Mark Ovenden stated.

Last week, the automaker moved to hoard cash, drawing down $15.4 billion from two credit lines and suspending its dividend. The automaker has also abandoned its 2020 financial forecast and stated the cash would be used to deal with a squeeze on capital led by shutdowns in production.

The automaker last week suspended vehicle and engine production at manufacturing sites in continental Europe. It also decided to temporarily halt production from March 23 at its London site and from the end of March 25 at its Welsh facility.

Automakers are not seeking any immediate assistance as part of a $1 trillion government stimulus and rescue package expected to soon move through Congress, but instead calling for “broad economic measures to keep the economy on track”.

Coronavirus has so far infected over 415,074 people and killed 18,559 worldwide.

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