GM, Ford, and FCA are shutting down their North American assembly plants until the end of the month.  At 4 pm today, joined GM and Ford in announcing the shutdown, “starting progressively today through the end of March.”

The UAW had requested that production be temporarily halted for two weeks to stop the spread of COVID-19, which have caused some temporary plant stoppages. However, inventories are fairly high already, and auto sales are expected to plunge by over 20% through the end of the year; Honda said it was shutting its North American plants for six days because of falling demand. (Tesla is running even after being ordered to shut down by health authorities.)

Workers at the Kokomo transmission plant, Warren Truck, and Sterling Heights (Ram), as well as Ford's Ranger plant, have tested positive for COVID-19. The Windsor minivan plant was closed for around a day after reports of a possible case.

Sterling Heights 2017

Over the weekend, GM’s CEO, Mary Barra, ordered all  workers who could work from home to do so; GM seemed to have been more prepared for the crisis than most companies.

Ford is waiting until after tomorrow evening's shift. Both GM and Ford are shutting down through March 30. For every assembly plant that closes, a host of suppliers also close down; some of these are large multinationals, such as Denso, which can stand the strain, but many are relatively small companies, some of which are highly leveraged and may not survive without outside help.