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March 23, 2020

Ford stops emerging markets production for ‘weeks’

Ford has temporarily suspended production in India, South Africa, Thailand and Vietnam in response to the coronavirus.

By Olly Wehring

Ford has temporarily suspended production in India, South Africa, Thailand and Vietnam in response to the coronavirus.

A vehicle and engine temporary production suspension began at the automaker's International Markets Group (IMG) manufacturing sites last Saturday (21 March).

Ford said the production suspensions would vary market by market and were expected to last a number of weeks depending on the pandemic situation, national restrictions, supplier constraints and dealer stock requirements.

"The health and safety of our employees, dealers, customers, partners and communities is our highest priority," said Mark Ovenden, president, International Markets Group.

"We are continuing to act in real time and taking added safety measures by temporarily halting production at our manufacturing sites in the international markets."

While Ford would continue to monitor the situation, the company was adjusting its original IMG production schedule and would temporarily suspend production market by market.

The last working days per market are:

• March 21: India – Chennai Vehicle Assembly Plant, Sanand Vehicle Assembly Plant, Sanand Engine Plant and Chennai Engine Plant. • March 26: Vietnam – Ford Vietnam Limited Haiduong Assembly Plant. • March 27: Thailand – Ford Motor Company (Thailand) Limited. • March 27: South Africa – Silverton Assembly Plant (Pretoria) and Struandale Engine Plant (Port Elizabeth).

This followed actions previously announced, including the temporary suspension of vehicle and engine production in North America, Europe and South America. Ford also is requiring employees to work remotely unless they are performing a business-critical job that requires being onsite. The company's working remotely policy will continue until further notice in a continued effort to help contain the virus. Precautionary measures are being taken to protect the safety of the small number of employees who are unable to work from home.

"In these extraordinary times, we must come together to put our people first," Ovenden said.

"We will continue working across our region to explore additional protocols and procedures to help prevent the spread of the virus and define new work practices to lessen its effects wherever we can."

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