Global Auto Manufacturers Rush to Reopen Factories in China
Global auto manufacturers suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic are speeding up efforts to restart plants from Wuhan to Maranello to Michigan, using security protocols developed for China and U.S. ventilator production operations introduced in recent weeks.
Several safety measures differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. Italian sports car brand Ferrari NV stated Wednesday it will offer voluntary blood tests to workers who wanted to know if they’d been exposed to the virus.
General Motors’ chief of workplace safety, Jim Glynn, said Wednesday GM isn’t persuaded blood tests are useful. However, Glynn stated GM has studied and adapted steps taken by Amazon.com to protect warehouse workers, similar to temperature screening, from catching employees with fevers before they enter the plants.
Auto producers and suppliers are converging on a consensus that temperature screening, daily health questionnaires, assembly lines redesigned to keep staff 3 to 6 ft away, and lots and many masks and gloves can enable large-scale factories to operate safely.
GM has not stated when it will reopen assembly lines in the U.S. Other auto manufacturers are putting dates out in public, even though health officials and federal and state policymakers are cautious of lifting lockdowns too soon.