General Motors is tentatively preparing to resume operations at its auto assembly plant located in the Mexican city of Silao on May 20, according to a message to employees observed by Reuters on Sunday, as the auto industry prepares to exit the coronavirus lockdown.
The resuming of the plant would be a positive indication for the auto sector in North America, whose supply lines are highly interconnected between the United States, Mexico and Canada in North America.
The plant located in the central state of Guanajuato has been idled for weeks because of the coronavirus outbreak. Workers had previously been told to plan to get back to their jobs on May 18.
A GM spokeswoman stated the company could not confirm when it would resume operations at any of its facilities in Mexico as it is awaiting more guidance from the government.
The message to the plant’s employees came after the government on Friday clarified when the industry could start easing restrictions imposed due to the health emergency.
On Wednesday, the government stated that automakers could start going back into production from May 18. It then withdrew that advice and suggested the new start date is now June 1.
Finally it indicated the sector, which is the backbone of Mexican manufacturing, could start operating as soon as next week if companies had the important safety measures in place.
U.S. officials and its auto industry have pressed Mexico’s government to get its plants open again as American operations depends on parts from south of the border.
However, some politicians are wary of resuming too soon. Mexico registered its first case of coronavirus weeks after the United States and Canada and the toll of daily infections and deaths reached new peaks over the past few days in the country.
The Silao production facility, which makes significantly profitable pickup trucks for GM, is one of the biggest automotive plants located in Guanajuato, a major Mexican automaking state.
About 49,219 people in Mexico have been confirmed as being infected with the coronavirus. The virus has killed 5,177 people in the country.