Almost-finished Volkswagen ID.3 electric cars are seen at the end of the assembly line in Zwickau, Germany, after production restarted on Thursday, April 23. / Getty Images
Here’s where some automakers stand on restarting factories that have been closed for at least a month due to fears of spreading the coronavirus.
— Mercedes plans to reopen in Alabama on Monday, April 27.
— Toyota says its restart will begin gradually the week of May 4 in the U.S. and Canada. The company is still waiting for word from the Mexican government on when it can restart there.
The company says it plans to give workers masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and face shields where needed. It will install dividers to keep employees six feet or more apart, and it will take their temperatures before they enter plants.
Toyota has large assembly operations in Kentucky, Texas, Indiana and Mississippi as well as engine and transmission factories in other states.
— Volkswagen announced it will restart its Tennessee plant May 3. It restarted production on Thursday at its plant in Zwickau, Germany, where its crucial mass-market electric vehicle is being made ahead of its launch later this year.
— Fiat Chrysler has a May 4 restart date, with Ford and General Motors expected around the same time. Though all three are negotiating with the United Auto Workers union. Detroit automakers employ about 150,000 factory workers in the U.S., while international manufacturers have about 85,000.
“We’re confident, we’re ready to go with the proper safety protocols in place,” Gerald Johnson, GM’s executive vice president of global manufacturing, told Bloomberg on Thursday. “We surveyed our supply base. They are as committed as we are. They’re as ready to start as we are.”
Two dozen union workers at Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler have died of Covid-19 complications.
“We strongly suggest to our companies in all sectors that an early May date is too soon and too risky to our members, their families and their communities.,” Rory Gamble, the union’s president, said in statement Thursday.
— Hyundai will restart in Alabama May 4.
— BMW also plans to restart its South Carolina plant on May 4.
— Tesla is reportedly also looking to reopen its Nevada Gigafactory battery plant and its Fremont, Calif., vehicle plant on May 4. It has already reopened its assembly plant in Shanghai.
— Aston Martin Lagonda will resume production at the St. Athan plant in south Wales, which employs about 300 people, on May 5. A second Aston Martin factory at Gaydon will reopen at an unspecified date.
— Honda is adding a week to its shutdown. The company says it will continue to keep its automobile plants closed through May 8.
— Subaru will restart on May 11.
— Nissan plans a mid-May reopening.
— Jaguar Land Rover is planning to resume production at some facilities on May 18.