Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will keep its facilities in the U.S. and Canada closed through at least April 14, in response to the Coronavirus pandemic affecting North America. The automaker released a statement today that briefly conveys its intention to keep corporate offices and manufacturing facilities shut through the first two weeks of April, at which point operations may resume depending on various quarantine or other restrictions issued at the state or local level.
This doesn’t apply to FCA’s operations in Mexico, the status of which will come in a separate announcement. This also doesn’t apply to FCA’s Mopar Parts Distribution Centers, which remain open as they are deemed as essential operations to supply parts for commercial vehicles used by first responders. In its announcement on the matter, FCA said the distributions centers were being staffed by paid volunteers.
The update comes just eight days after FCA, along with Ford and General Motors, announced closures for all operations across North America through the end of March. Since that time, confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the U.S. alone have increased by a factor of 10, from approximately 7,000 to 68,440 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on March 26.
In the meantime, FCA is moving forward with a plan to produce face masks for first responders dealing with the pandemic. In a statement released earlier this week, the company said it was setting up manufacturing capability to make masks, with a goal of producing one million masks per month that will be donated to facilities all across North America. Ford and GM have announced similar plans to help build ventilators used by hospitals to help Coronavirus victims.
FCA Statement on the Restart of North American Operations
March 26, 2020 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – FCA continues to take important steps to help flatten the curve of the spread of COVID-19 and put the health and safety of our workforce, and the communities where we live and work, first. FCA plants across the U.S. and Canada, as well as headquarters operations and construction projects, are intended to remain closed until April 14, dependent upon the various states’ stay-in-place orders and the readiness of each facility to return to production. The Mopar Parts Distribution Centers, which have been deemed essential to keeping first responders and commercial vehicles on the road, will continue to operate with paid volunteers. The status of production for FCA’s Mexico operations will be subject to a separate announcement.
The Company continues to work collaboratively with the UAW and Unifor to expand upon the extensive program of cleaning and social distancing protocols that already have been implemented across all of our facilities to safeguard our employees.