As the Covid-19 pandemic worsens in the United States with over 180,000 cases being reported (the highest in the world right now), Ford has announced that it will extend the closure of several of its North American production facilities indefinitely.

Previously, the company planned to restart production on April 6 at its Hermosillo Assembly Plant, with other key United States plants following suit on April 14. However, this is no longer the case and the company will announce new startup dates later on.

The only exception will be the Rawsonville Components Plant, which will begin producing the General Electric/Airon Model A-E ventilator to ensure there is enough supply for Covid-19 patients. Approximately 500 UAW (United Auto Workers) volunteers will build these ventilators, with the goal of producing 50,000 units by July 4.

“The health and safety of our workforce, dealers, customers, partners and communities remains our highest priority. We are working very closely with union leaders – especially at the UAW – to develop additional health and safety procedures aimed at helping keep our workforce safe and healthy,” said Kumar Galhotra, Ford president of North America.

“Today’s decision by Ford is the right decision for our members, their families and our nation. Under vice president Gerald Kariem, the UAW Ford Department continues to work closely with our local unions and Ford to make sure that as we return to production all members are safe, and our communities are protected from this spreading pandemic,” added Rory Gamble, UAW International president.