General Motors, Ford and Fiat target May 18 restart date in the US

Detroit Three automakers, General Motors, Ford Motor, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

General Motors, Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are targeting May 18 to restart some production at their U.S. plants after shutting down plants in March because of the spread of the coronavirus, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Executives from the companies in recent times tentatively settled on the timeline after talks with the leaders of the union United Auto Workers (UAW) and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office, the report said on Monday, citing people knowledgeable about the plans.

Ford stated it is yet to figure out when it will restart production at its North American plants, while Fiat Chrysler stated it will communicate new restart dates.

The head of the UAW union has warned it was too premature and “too risky” to resume auto plants and Michigan’s economy in early May, citing risks to employees.

Michigan Governor Whitmer is yet to release details on restarting the state’s crucial manufacturing sector and has stated she would be “guided by data, not artificial timelines”.

The automakers are working with the union on drawing up safety protocols for decreasing exposure risk for workers, but are yet to finalize those terms.

Until now, Michigan had reported 38,210 COVID-19 cases, including 3,407 deaths. While there have been about 1,008,571 people in the US have been confirmed as being infected with the coronavirus and the virus has killed 56,521 people in the country.

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