Having shut down its factories in the Americas and Europe, Ford is now temporarily suspending production at its International Markets Group (IMG) manufacturing sites, including those in India, Vietnam, Thailand and South Africa. This, of course, is in response to the growing coronavirus disease outbreak.

The company has already halted production at its Chennai and Sanand plants in India since March 21 and will shut down its factory in Hai Duong in Vietnam on March 26. This will be followed by its facilities in Rayong in Thailand and in Pretoria and Port Elizabeth in South Africa the next day, March 27.

Ford says will the shutdown will continue for several 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 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.”

Ford is also requiring employees to work remotely unless it is a critical job that requires being on site. This policy will continue until further notice in a continued effort to contain the virus, it said. It is also taking precautionary measures to protect the safety of the small number of employees 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.”