It was only a matter of time before more European automakers shut down their production plants due to the continuing spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Following the shutdown of Ferrari and Lamborghini in Italy, Peugeot/PSA Group and even Mercedes-Benz have, Ford Motor Company has announced that they will also be suspending vehicle and engine production at its manufacturing plants all across Europe.
“While the impact of coronavirus at our facilities so far has been limited thankfully, its effects on our employees, dealers, suppliers, and customers, as well as European society as a whole, is unprecedented. Due to the dramatic impact this ongoing crisis is having on the European market and the supplier industry – together with the recent actions by countries to restrict all but essential travel and personal contact – we are temporarily halting production at our main continental Europe manufacturing sites,” said Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe.
Affected Ford plants include the Ford vehicle manufacturing sites in Cologne and Saarlouis in Germany, together with the Craiova facility in Romania. Meanwhile, Ford’s Valencia assembly and engine facility in Spain already halted production since March 16 as a few workers were confirmed with the virus. Only essential work, such as maintenance and security, will continue on-site.
The shutdown of Ford’s European plants (aside from the Valencia plant) is set to begin on March 19, Thursday. At the moment, the automaker has not specifically said when production will resume. They only said that the suspension will continue on “for a number of weeks” as Ford tries to help contain the spread of the virus. The automaker also states various health factors and government restrictions before work may resume.
“It is at difficult times like these when we must stand united and put people first. We at Ford will play our part in the weeks ahead to help get through this crisis, reduce its spread and alleviate its effects wherever we can,” added Rowley.