Ford Motor Company (FMC) is temporarily suspending vehicle and engine production at its international markets group (IMG) manufacturing sites, including South Africa, in response to the growing impact of Covid-19.
IMG production suspensions began Saturday, March 21, and will continue for several weeks depending on the pandemic situation, specific national restrictions, supplier constraints and dealer stock requirements.
The Silverton assembly plant, in Pretoria, and the Struandale engine plant, in Port Elizabeth, will grind to a temporary halt on March 27.
“The health and safety of our employees, dealers, customers, partners and communities is our highest priority,” says FMC IMG president Mark Ovenden.
“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.”
The measures announced in the IMG markets follow actions previously announced by Ford, 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 on site.
The company’s working-remotely policy will continue until further notice in a continued effort to help contain the Covid-19 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,” notes Ovenden.
“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.”