As the wind of Coronavirus blows heavily through Europe, businesses are forced to shut their doors in a bid to mitigate the effects of the infection on the populace. One of the latest companies to toe that line is top automaker, Ford. The brand has announced that its major manufacturing plants in Europe will be shut down, temporarily, from Thursday, March 19, 2020.
Factory workers stand a risk of getting infected
The move to suspend production activities comes after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Europe as the Epicenter of COVID-19. Making the announcement, Stuart Rowley, Ford Europe President, said that, although there has been little effect of the virus on its premises, the organization is concerned about the implications it will have on its employees, suppliers, dealers, and esteemed customers. Rowley also expressed concerns about the COVID-19 impact on the auto supply chain in Europe as it is bound to have an adverse effect on them. The decision by countries to restrict travel and social contact was also factored in their move to keep production on hold at the moment, pending when the crisis is resolved.
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Speaking further, the President lamented over the decline in car sales in the region, forcing many car dealers to close for the time being. On a brighter note, he stated that Ford service centers are not affected by the closure as they are deemed to be part of the society’s essential needs. Customers can take their cars for servicing and repairs if the needs arise.
A definite time frame for the temporary closure was not announced. According to Rowley, it will last “for a number of weeks.” He also confirmed the temporary closure of its Spain factory on March 16 when three of its workers tested positive for COVID-19.
“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.”
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