The auto industry, like so many other industries, hit the pause button in March. Companies around the world halted car production and sent workers home to stop the spread of the, which causes . Now, as the world begins to get a handle on the virus, automakers have begun to restart production.
Just as we saw in ourlist, the first automakers to restart production are in Europe. We'll update this list as more manufacturers return to work and start building cars. Our coverage begins with Detroit's Big Three and continues based on the date automakers announced plant restarts.
The Blue Oval has gradually restarted production in Europe, beginning with facilities in Germany and Romania on May 4. Plant shutdown over one month ago in Europe.
It's still unclear when production will restart in the UK, however. Although manufacturing is back online, the gradual restart will cover sold customer vehicle orders from dealers. Full production won't ramp up for a few months yet as the automaker takes all necessary precautions to protect workers.
On May 7, Ford said it will start bringing US workers back on May 18.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
On April 28,announced work restarted at its Sevel factory in Atessa, Italy, a joint venture with the company's soon-to-be merger partner, PSA Group. The plant's responsible for building commercial vehicles in Europe and it's a positive sign overall. Italy quickly became the European epicenter for the coronavirus pandemic. Every worker will receive a new mask and gloves daily and the plant is equipped with numerous disinfecting stations and new elements to enforce social distancing.
FCA plans toon May 18.
GM began preparations to return workers back to plants May 6 and plans towith a slew of new safety guidelines in place. The automaker said its work building ventilators and masks during the pandemic will help it enact the best policies to keep workers safe.
The electric carmaker has gone through the most chaotic production restart of them all. After California Gov. Gavin Newsom gave the go ahead for manufacturing to restart, Tesla prepared to ramp up, only to face Alameda County's local stay-at-home order, which was not lifted.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk sued to reopen the plant, threatened toout of the state and eventually without an official green light from the county on May 11.
Honda took its North American facilities offline on March 23, but on May 11, the Japanese automaker put workers back on the job with a gradual return-to-work plan. The company installed numerous new precautions and will distribute new personal protective equipment to workers each day.
The British luxury brand also restarted production on May 11. The company underscored its 1,700 workers will return in a phased approach after learning 250 new hygiene and social distancing measures implemented for the plant in Crewe, England. For now, production will run at 50% of capacity.
The Japanese automaker gradually restarted production at its sole US plant on May 11, a spokesperson told Roadshow. Full operations will restart on May 18, though the company said that doesn't equal "full production." "There are a number of factors, including supply chain challenges, which will play a role in determining production levels upon return," the spokesperson said. Subaru shut its plant down on March 23.
The French automaker soon to merge with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said it began a phased restart for its plants in Europe starting May 4. Plants in France resumed some production on May 11. Between March 16 and 19, PSA shuttered its factories across Europe to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The supercar makerwith an extensive list of safety protocols. The company shut its operations down on March 13, and during the hiatus, began making personal protective gear for health care workers in Italy.
After shutting down on March 30, the South Korean automaker has restarted production in limited volumes at its manufacturing facility in Georgia. The company was one of the first automakers in the US to come back online.
Hyundai joined corporate cousin Kia in restarting production on May 4 at its plant in Alabama. After shutting down on March 18, the automaker started a phased approach with extensive safety measures, including temperature checks and staggered shifts to enhance social distancing.
On May 4, the Italian marque slowly began bringing workers back to its plant in Maranello to restart production. Full production resumed on May 8. The company said all restarts are in accordance with government orders and the firm developed itsto aggressively screen workers for COVID-19. The plan includes voluntary blood tests and an app to notify when workers may have come in contact with someone positive for the virus.
On May 8, the supercar maker said it's fully operational again and at full production. The first car built post shutdown was none other than a.
On May 4, French supercar maker Bugatti restarted production at its facility with strict protocols in place to protect workers. Each employee receives a new mask at the start of the day and must wear it on the premises at all times while practicing social distancing. Nevertheless, hand-built Bugattis are back in business. The firm shut down its operations in March.
The British carmaker tells Roadshow production restarted on May 4 and says, "We've taken this decision because we are receiving orders from our customers and we are heeding the British government's call to resume production and support the British economy." The company closed down its manufacturing facility back in March to slow the virus' spread.
The automaker overseeing the Mercedes-Benz brand started ramp up production at its plant in Alabama on April 27, a spokesperson tells Roadshow. Production will gradually increase in the weeks to come. In Europe, German plants started to come back online starting April 30 with numerous safety protocols put in place. Daimler was one of the first major European automaker to shutter operations.
In late April, Porsche began the process of ramping up to restart production on May 4. The automaker said after weeks of supply chain bottlenecks, it's now possible to build cars again, though it originally shut its two factories down to slow the spread of COVID-19.
In the weeks to come, Porsche will gradually increase production to full capacity. As production begins, work will focus on "task-specific jobs" to start. Workers will be required to keep a safe distance from one another and wear face masks in certain areas of the plants.
The German automaker said on April 27 it had restarted production at its plant in Wolfsburg, Germany. There, the automaker began a slow ramp up of production at about 15% of its capacity. Next week, production will increase to 40% capacity. VW added that some 2,600 suppliers also restarted production to support the plant.originally halted production in early March.
After shutting down all operations on March 16, Renault restarted production at a factory in Slovenia on April 28, Automotive News Europe reports. Full production began on May 11.
The Swedish luxury carmaker said it had restarted production on April 20. Its plant in Torslanda installed modifications to work stations to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
First published April 28.