In COVID-19 coronavirus automotive news are, Vauxhall, Airbus, Tesla, GM, Ford, Toyota, Volkswagen, Nissan, Bridgestone and Harley Davidson.
UK automotive and aerospace manufacturers will use 3D printing to make ventilators for the NHS. The Guardian reports that Vauxhall and Airbus will use 3D printing to make ventilator parts.
In the U.S. GM and Ford are considering requests to make ventilators.
Telsa Ventilating, Closing Freemont/NY
Elon Musk Tweeted “We will make ventilators if there is a shortage. Later he Tweeted, “Tesla makes cars with sophisticated hvac systems. SpaceX makes spacecraft with life support systems. Ventilators are not difficult, but cannot be produced instantly. Which hospitals have these shortages you speak of right now?
Tesla Fremont Factory Finally Suspends Operation Obeys County Orders Offers Touchless Deliveries
I”n the past few days, we have met with local, state and federal officials. We have followed and are continuing to follow all legal directions and safety guidelines with respect to the operations of our facilities, and have honored the Federal Government’s direction to continue operating. Despite taking all known health precautions, continued operations in certain locations has caused challenges for our employees, their families and our suppliers.
As such, we have decided to temporarily suspend production at our factory in Fremont, from end of day March 23, which will allow an orderly shutdown. Basic operations will continue in order to support our vehicle and energy service operations and charging infrastructure, as directed by the local, state and federal authorities. Our factory in New York will temporarily suspend production as well, except for those parts and supplies necessary for service, infrastructure and critical supply chains. Operations of our others facilities will continue, including Nevada and our service and Supercharging network.
In many locations, we are in the process of implementing “touchless deliveries” so customers can continue to take delivery of their vehicle in a seamless and safe way. Due to the unique over-the-air connectivity of our vehicles, customers are able to unlock their new cars at a delivery parking lot via the Tesla App, sign any remaining relevant paperwork that has been placed in their car, and return that paperwork to an on-site drop-off location prior to leaving. This method provides additional convenience and comfort.”
A Tesla news release stated. Tesla is also suspending work at it’s New York factory. It will keep the Nevada plant and Supercharging open.
Toyota Suspends NA Manufacturing
Toyota is extending the length of its production suspension at all of its automobile and components plants in North America, including Canada, Mexico and the U.S. The manufacturing facilities will be closed from March 23 through April 3, resuming production on April 6, 2020. Our service parts depots and vehicle logistics centers will continue to operate.
This action is being taken to protect the health and safety of our employees, key stakeholders and communities, as well as a result of the significant market decline due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to monitor the situation and take appropriate action in a timely manner.
We will conduct a thorough cleaning at all of our manufacturing facilities during the shutdown. This also will allow Toyota employees to prepare and adjust family plans in relation to regional directives to close schools.The safety and security of our employees, stakeholders and community are a top priority and we will continue to monitor the situation and take action in a timely manner.j
Nissan US Suspension
Nissan today announced that it will temporarily suspend production of its manufacturing facilities in the U.S. starting March 20 through April 6. The company is taking this action to boost containment efforts where possible around the COVID-19 coronavirus. Currently, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 coronavirus at any Nissan facility. Areas deemed business-essential will operate with enhanced safety measures.
VW TN Suspension
Saturday, March 21 at 3:45 a.m., Volkswagen Chattanooga will suspend production for one week, with current plans to resume production Sunday, March 29 at 10 p.m. This action is being taken to help ensure the health and safety of our team members as we conduct additional sanitation and cleaning procedures throughout the factory. We will also use this time to assess future production plans and market developments.
Volkswagen will offer full pay during this production shutdown period for all team members at the factory. Employees who are able to telework, such as office staff, will do so. We’re asking all employees to self-quarantine and maintain social distancing as directed by the CDC. We will continue to monitor the situation and will take any and all additional steps as they become necessary, communicating updates as they are available.
The health and safety of our team remains our highest priority. In recent weeks we have taken the following precautionary steps:
- Implementing heightened sanitization and cleaning procedures throughout the factory as well as on our transportation shuttles
- Installing sanitation areas in high-traffic zones of the plant
- Provided all production, maintenance and production support staff with paid time off March 16 to plan and assess childcare needs in response to school closures
- Postponing all events at the Volkswagen Academy and Conference Center
- Implementing social distancing procedures in business-critical trainings, and postponing all non-critical training and classroom activities
- Closing general access to our onsite fitness center, and postponing all volunteer exercise classes
- Keeping doors open as much as possible to limit contact
- Limiting visitors to business-critical, and conducting safety screening questionnaires
- Prohibiting all business-related travel, domestic and international
- Sharing healthy best practices from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) via internal communications channels
- Providing daily updates to all employees regarding our activities
Bridgestone Phases Shutdown
Bridgestone Americas (Bridgestone) has announced a temporary phased shutdown of its manufacturing facilities in North America and Latin America. The temporary shutdown will begin the weekend of March 21 with all facilities planning to resume normal operations on or before Sunday, April 12. The company will continue to monitor the situation closely and adjust response plans and activities as necessary.
The company has sufficient supply of product to meet customer demand and its distribution centers, plant warehouses and logistics teams will continue to fill orders, but is executing this temporary shutdown to align supply to the predicted demand in the market.
As the company carefully monitors the coronavirus situation, it is continuing to take action in all aspects of operations to ensure the health and safety of our employees while also addressing the needs of customers and the market.
Ford Relieves 6 Payments
Ford is offering a three month payment deferral for eligible U.S. new-car customers, plus three more paid by Ford, for up to six months of payment peace of mind.
Ford Motor Company is taking a series of initiatives to further bolster the company’s cash position amid the coronavirus health crisis, maintain strategic flexibility on behalf of its team and customers, and set up Ford to separate itself from competitors when the global economy emerges from the current period of acute uncertainty.
Like we did in the Great Recession, Ford is managing through the coronavirus crisis in a way that safeguards our business, our workforce, our customers and our dealers during this vital period,” said Ford CEO Jim Hackett. “As America’s largest producer of vehicles and largest employer of autoworkers, we plan to emerge from this crisis as a stronger company that can be an engine for the recovery of the economy moving forward.”
The company today notified lenders that it will borrow the total unused amounts against two lines of credit: $13.4 billion under its corporate credit facility and $2 billion under its supplemental credit facility. The incremental cash from these borrowings will be used to offset the temporary working capital impacts of the coronavirus-related production shut downs and to preserve Ford’s financial flexibility.
“While we obviously didn’t foresee the coronavirus pandemic, we have maintained a strong balance sheet and ample liquidity so that we could weather economic uncertainty and continue to invest in our future,” Hackett said. “Our Ford people are extremely resilient and motivated, and I’m confident in the actions we are taking to navigate the current uncertainty while continuing to build toward the future.”
Ford has regularly described targets of having $20 billion in cash and $30 billion in liquidity heading into an economic downturn. At the end of 2019, those levels were $22 billion and $35 billion, respectively.
At the same time, Ford announced it has suspended the company’s dividend, prioritizing near-term financial flexibility and continued investments in an ambitious series of new-product launches in 2020 and long-term growth initiatives.
Also, Ford said it is withdrawing the guidance it gave on Feb. 4 for 2020 financial performance, which did not factor in effects of the coronavirus, given uncertainties in the business environment. The company will provide an update on the year when it announces first-quarter results, which is currently scheduled for April 28.
Ford this week announced plans to temporarily stop production at its plants in North America and Europe starting today. The actions were taken to protect the health and safety of employees and respond to issues with the supply chain and other constraints. The company will work with labor representatives to safely and effectively restart production in the weeks to come.
Hackett noted China was the first country to face the virus and is now emerging from the coronavirus crisis and showing improvements in automobile demand. This news on the China recovery should be a source of optimism about the overall economic recovery as the virus abates, he said.
‘Built to Lend a Hand’ Program Provides Peace of Mind With Up To Six Months of Payment Relief
Separately, Ford and its U.S. dealers are offering customers who are dealing with their own peripheral challenges from the coronavirus a variety of services, including six months of payment relief for new-car buyers under the new “Built to Lend a Hand” program.
Under the new program, developed with its dealers, Ford is offering six months of payment relief for eligible new-car customers who finance their purchases through Ford Credit. Ford will pay for three months and customers can defer for up to three more for a total of six months. The program is for people purchasing 2019 and 2020 model-year vehicles, excluding 2020 Super Duty trucks.
“Our dealers are incredibly connected to their communities,” said Kumar Galhotra, president, Ford North America. “And they’re willing to lend a hand by doing whatever it takes to help our customers in this time of need.”
More information about the “Built to Lend a Hand Program” is available at Ford.com.
Harley Davidson Suspends Production
Since late January, Harley-Davidson, Inc. (“Harley-Davidson”) (NYSE:HOG) has been assessing the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and taking proactive measures in the interest of health and safety of its employees, dealers and consumers. Its most recent measures include temporarily suspending the majority of production at its U.S. manufacturing facilities beginning this evening, March 18, through March 29 to help support employee health and further bolster coronavirus containment efforts. Facilities temporarily suspending production are York Vehicle Operations in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin facilities Tomahawk Operations and Pilgrim Road Powertrain Operations.