Ford is regarded by most of Europe as an European manufacturer, even though the brand is American. The reason is Ford is building lots of cars in its European factories. But, the recent coronavirus pandemic affected Ford on both continents.
Ford is temporarily suspending vehicle and engine production at its manufacturing sites in continental Europe in response to the growing impact of the Coronavirus.
The action follows the World Health Organization’s designation of Europe as the new epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic with the number of reported cases growing significantly in recent days and expected to continue to rise rapidly. Ford’s decision to temporarily halt production also will contribute towards the efforts to contain the virus spread.
Component supplies to Ford manufacturing sites in Europe have been increasingly interrupted, while sales of vehicles across the industry have declined with dealerships required to temporarily close their sales operations in some countries. However, the servicing of vehicles is regarded as an important societal need and Ford dealerships are continuing to provide essential maintenance and service across the continent.
The Ford vehicle manufacturing sites in Cologne and Saarlouis in Germany, together with the Craiova facility in Romania, will temporarily halt production from Thursday, March 19. Ford’s Valencia assembly and engine facility in Spain already temporarily halted production from Monday, March 16, after three workers were confirmed with coronavirus over the past weekend. Only essential work, such as maintenance and security, will continue onsite.
While it is hoped this action will only be required for a short period, the exact duration depends on a number of factors. These include the spread of the coronavirus; national government and European Union restrictions on movement, including across borders; the supplier industry’s ability to supply components; and the return of customers to dealerships, many of which are now closed as part of the measures taken at a national level.
The measures announced today follow actions announced last week requiring all employees to work remotely unless they are performing a business-critical job that requires being onsite. The working remotely policy will continue, until further notice, in a continued effort to help contain the virus. Precautionary measures are being taken to protect the safety of the small number of employees who are unable to work from home.