Last week, Ford Motor Company announced that they have shut down their plants in North America, as well as in Europe. This is due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected countries all over the world. For some time, the company continued operating their factories in Vietnam, India, South Africa, as well as Thailand, although we did report that they could be winding down production as well.
Now Ford has officially stated that its factories in the aforementioned countries will also be shut down temporarily. The company started suspending production at its International Markets Group (IMG) manufacturing sites last March 21 in response to the growing impact of the coronavirus.
The first factories to halt production were the Chennai Vehicle Assembly Plant, Sanand Vehicle Assembly Plant, Sanand Engine Plant, and the Chennai Engine Plant in India. It will then be followed by Ford Vietnam Limited Haiduong Assembly Plant which will stop production this March 26. Come March 27, the Ford Motor Company Thailand Limited plant will suspend operations. Finally, the Silverton Assembly Plant and the Struandale Engine Plant in South Africa will temporarily shut down on March 27 as well.
“The health and safety of our employees, dealers, customers, partners, and communities is our highest priority. We are continuing to act in real-time and taking added safety measures by temporarily halting production at our manufacturing sites in the international markets,” said Mark Ovenden, president of Ford's International Market Group.
During the temporary shut down, Ford has required employees to work remotely unless their jobs require them to be on-site in the factory. With no exact date yet as to when production in the aforementioned factories will resume, the company's working remotely policy will continue until further notice in order to help contain the virus.
“In these extraordinary times, we must come together to put our people first. We will continue working across our region to explore additional protocols and procedures to help prevent the spread of the virus and define new work practices to lessen its effects wherever we can,” added Ovenden.
There was no mention whether Auto Alliance Thailand (AAT) will shut down. The AAT factory is operated together with Mazda; a former member of the Ford group. AAT makes the Everest and left-hand drive double cab Ranger models except for the Raptor.
With Ford temporarily ceasing production in FTM, expect some delays in the delivery of your brand-new vehicles, though most dealers are closed anyway.