Ford Motor announced that it is temporarily suspending vehicle and engine production at its factories in South Africa, Europe, India, Thailand, and Vietnam due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The action follows the World Health Organization’s designation of Europe as the new epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic with the number of reported cases growing significantly in recent days and expected to continue to rise rapidly. Ford’s decision to temporarily halt production also will contribute towards the efforts to contain the virus spread.
In a statement, the company also revealed that the sales of vehicles across have declined due to dealerships required to temporarily close their sales operations in some countries. However, the servicing of vehicles is regarded as an important societal need and Ford dealerships are continuing to provide essential maintenance and service across the continent.
“While the impact of coronavirus at our facilities so far has been limited thankfully, its effects on our employees, dealers, suppliers, and customers, as well as European society as a whole, is unprecedented,” said Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe. “Due to the dramatic impact this ongoing crisis is having on the European market and the supplier industry – together with the recent actions by countries to restrict all but essential travel and personal contact – we are temporarily halting production at our main continental Europe manufacturing sites.”