General Motors Co. is set to slowly restart operations at its crucial pickup manufacturing plant in Mexico as early as this week after suspending operations in the third week of March due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, reports said.
The pickup plant in the city of Silao is one of the three vehicle assembly plants of General Motors in Mexico. The Silao plant makes certain versions of the fast selling Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra heavy-duty pickup trucks.
GM’s other Mexican plant in San Luis Potosí makes the Chevrolet Trax, Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain, while its Ramos Arizpe facility makes the Chevrolet Blazer and Chevrolet Sonic.
The Mexican manufacturing facilities of GM are important for the automaker as they supply critical parts, including wiring harness, for the manufacturing units in the U.S. The respective operations of Fiat Chrysler and Ford in Mexico are also similarly critical.
The news about opening the Mexican operations of automakers came up after the Mexican government deemed auto manufacturing, construction and mining as essential activities and added them to the official list of essential activities last week. However, they need to meet certain safety protocols.
Some reports indicated that though automakers could open their plants this week, until June 1, they will be required to put in place safety protocols to mitigate the coronavirus’ spread and to begin reconnecting supply chains.
Last week, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. had started operations at its manufacturing plants in the South American country of Brazil after suspending operations for 48 days.
FCA said it was adopting world-standard measures in sanitation, health, safety and reorganization of processes at all its plants for a safe return to operations.
FCA’s Sevel plant in Atessa, Italy, a joint venture with PSA Group, resumed operations on April 27 after a variety of health and safety measures were implemented to enable return to work of most of the over 6,000 employees.
At the same time, limited activities also resumed at FCA plants in Cassino, Pomigliano, Termoli and Mirafiori in connection with components supply for the Sevel plant. It also resumed operations in Turin and Melfi.
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