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May 6, 2020

Ford restarts European factories

Ford said vehicles again were rolling off production lines at factories in Germany, Romania and Spain following a seven week production suspension in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

By Olly Wehring

Ford said vehicles again were rolling off production lines at factories in Germany, Romania and Spain following a seven week production suspension in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

“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. Priority will initially be given to sold customer vehicle orders from dealers,” the automaker said. 

Global standards on social distancing and health and safety protocols are in place at all factories to protect returning workers.

Each day, employees are required to complete a wellness self-assessment process and also receive personal ‘care kits’ which include Ford made face masks and other hygiene items.

“The response from our employees has been incredible. 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,” said Ford Europe manufacturing chief Dale Wishnousky.

“We monitored the situation very closely to ensure the timing was right and all the measures were in place to provide a safe and protected workplace.”

Saarlouis and Cologne vehicle assembly plus Cologne Engine Plant in Germany, Valencia assembly in Spain, and Craiova assembly and engine plant in Romania all resumed production on 4 May.

Engine production at Valencia starts on 18 May.

There are no resumption dates for the UK Dagenham and Bridgend engine plants yet.

Ford said all had gone “smoothly with great teamwork helping to ensure that a strong restart delivered the reduced volumes that had been planned”.

Ford had previously contacted all employees, via various channels, outlining the return to work process and the measures implemented to ensure a safe working environment.

This included sharing with employees a specially made Return to Work Safety Protocol video.

Flyers offer employees further detailed information on PPE equipment.

The plants in Cologne, Craiova and Valencia are also producing face shields for internal use.

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