Ford is expecting to restart their production at most of its main continental European vehicle and engine plants from 4th May. The manufacturing plant that is expected to resumed this period will be Saarlouis Vehicle Assembly Operations and Cologne Assembly Operations and Engine Plant in Germany; Valencia Vehicle Assembly Operations in Spain; and Craiova Vehicle Assembly Operations and Engine Plant in Romania.
Ford is also expecting the Valencia Engine Plant in Spain to resume production on 18th May while the Dagenham and Bridgend Engine Plants in the United Kingdom to be announced later.
Production will start at a low level, prioritizing sold customer vehicle orders from dealers, and will gradually be ramped up over the next few months before full production is resumed. The production plans take into account supplier readiness, national movement restrictions and, Ford dealer sales sites reopening in key markets, as well as customer demand.
“Maintaining the health of our workforce is the top priority when restarting production and returning to work at our plants,” said Martin Hennig, chairman, Ford European Works Council. “Our union leaders across Europe have agreed on far-reaching measures for the best possible protection for our employees, which go beyond the nationally prescribed measures and apply to all our plants in Europe.”
A comprehensive list of Ford global standards on social distancing and employee health and safety actions in Ford’s manufacturing and other facilities across Europe will be implemented, including but not limited to:
- Requiring anyone entering a Ford facility to use a company-provided face mask, and a face shield in select manufacturing positions and other positions where social distancing cannot be met
- All persons entering a Ford facility to have their body temperature checked on entry with scanning equipment that meets any local or national regulations and restrictions
- Completion of a daily, wellness self-assessment process to confirm employee fitness and readiness for work before entering a Ford facility
- Redesigning of work areas to ensure proper social distancing guidelines are maintained and phased return to work to reduce employee density in buildings
The company also will provide all employees with a personal “care kit” on their return to work. The care kits include disposable face masks, reusable thermometer and other hygiene items.
Additionally, employees in non-production areas also will start to return in a phased approach from May 4, with priority given to those participating in key restart planning and business critical activities, or whose job functions require them to use specialized equipment only available at Ford sites, such as vehicle testing apparatus. Other non-production employees who can work remotely will continue to do so for the present time, including those employees on short-time working arrangements.