Due to the growing impact of the novel coronavirus or COVID-19, Ford suspends vehicle and engine production at its International Market Groups (IMG) manufacturing sites. These plants include those in India, South Africa, Thailand, and Vietnam.
"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," International Markets Group President Mark Ovenden said.
The first suspension began on March 21 in India. The company stopped operations at Chennai Vehicle Assembly Plant, Sanand Vehicle Assembly Plant, Sanand Engine Plant, Chennai Engine Plant. Operations in Vietnam are set to be suspended on March 26, while both Thailand and South Africa are set to suspend their operations on March 27.
A Ford auto assembly line in Hai Duong Province, Vietnam
Of note, the Philippine-spec Ford Ranger and Everest are made in the Ford Thailand plant in Rayong. The suspension would continue for several weeks depending on the COVID-19 situation.
In a statement by the automaker, Ford said, "Production suspensions will vary market by market; expected to last a number of weeks depending on pandemic situation, national restrictions, supplier constraints, and dealer stock requirements."
Ford continues to prioritize the safety of its employees while taking the necessary actions to protect the health and viability of Ford’s global business. However, Ford still requires its employees to work remotely unless it is a critical job that requires being on-site.
The official statement from Ford Philippines
“In these extraordinary times, we must come together to put our people first,” Ovenden said. “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.”
Ford already suspended its vehicle and engine production in North America and is targeting to resume on March 30. Factories in Europe and South America also temporarily suspended their vehicle and engine production to help reduce the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus.
In the Philippines, the Blue Oval temporarily closed its dealerships to prioritize the safety of its workers and customers amid COVID-19. In addition, Ford Philippines is extending the vehicle warranty of its eligible customers by one month.
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Rex found his passion for cars at a young age. He loves anything with an engine – which includes cars and planes. Right now, he is pleased to impart that passion for cars to a professional level under Philkotse as staff writer.