Just last week, Ford Authority reported that most European Ford factories were scheduled to resume production on May 4th. It would appear that all has gone according to plan, because Ford Europe factories in Germany, Romania, and Spain have resumed production following a lengthy, seven week-long shutdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vehicle assembly operations at the Ford Saarlouis and Ford Cologne plants in Germany, Ford Valencia assembly plant in Spain, and the Ford Craiova plant in Romania were all back up and running, albeit at a somewhat limited capacity, on May 4th. Engine assembly at Valencia is scheduled to restart on May 18th. As of right now, Ford hasn’t yet made a decision on reopening dates for the two Ford U.K. plants – Ford Dagenham and Ford Bridgend.
“As part of a phased restart, production has begun at a low level and will gradually be ramped up over the next few months before full production is resumed,” Ford Motor Company wrote in a statement. “Priority will initially be given to sold customer vehicle orders from dealers.”
All Ford Europe factories have implemented the automaker’s new safety protocols and procedures, which are outlined in a brand new employee playbook. These initiatives include planned social distancing, mandatory touch-free temperature checks, and the addition of more hand sanitizer stations, among measures.
So far, these changes appear to be going over quite well with employees who work at Ford Europe factories. “The response from our employees has been incredible,” said Ford Europe manufacturing chief Dale Wishnousky. “Our teams have been highly proactive in helping support their local communities through the coronavirus crisis and now they are back to what they do best – making the vehicles that will help get Europe moving again.”
Thus far, FoMoCo reports that everything is going “smoothly with great teamwork helping to ensure that a strong restart delivered the reduced volumes that had been planned.” That is obviously great news for Ford’s reported reopening date for its U.S. factories, currently rumored to be for the week of May 18th.
We’ll be following the restarting of Ford production process closely, so be sure to subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford-related COVID-19 news, Ford production news, and ongoing Ford news coverage.