Ford Europe announced over the weekend that it was shutting down its plant in the eastern region of Valencia for a whole week starting today. The reason the plant has been shuttered is because three employees of the facility tested positive for coronavirus. Ford issued a statement Sunday that said there had been three positive cases of COVID-19 in the Ford Valencia plant the last 24 hours.
The automaker is following protocols by isolating all employees that had contact with the infected workers. The Ford Valencia plant is one of the automaker’s largest outside of the United States with 7000 workers employed there. Ford Valencia produces about 400,000 vehicles each year, including the popular Mondeo and Galaxy models.
Ford announced this year a major investment of €42 into the Valencia plant, mostly for battery assembly facilities for hybrid vehicles. Ford is fighting the coronavirus tooth and nail in its operations around the world. Recently a worker at a Ford Germany facility was quarantined after testing positive for coronavirus. In that instance, all workers that that employee had had contact with were also quarantined, and Ford moved quickly to sanitize the employee’s work environment.
Ford China has also had at least two confirmed cases of coronavirus at its factory. Coronavirus has become a severe threat to automakers and businesses around the world. Ford, GM, FCA, and the UAW announced recently that they were creating a coronavirus Task Force with a focus on protecting employees at the various automakers. It remains to be seen how significant of an impact delays and factory closures resulting from coronavirus will have on Ford’s bottom line, but the impact will be substantial.