United States —
May 22, 2020 9:22 PM | With information from EFE
15 minutes. General Motors (GM) delayed the start-up of a second work shift in several US plants that produce pickup trucks, which will keep some 2,300 workers unemployed for another week, due to the lack of components from Mexico.
The newspaper “Detroit Free Press” reported on Friday that GM told thousands of workers that they are affected by temporary layoffs that they will have to wait at least another week before returning to their jobs due to the impossibility of restarting the third production shift.
The plants affected by the decision are those of Flint, in the state of Michigan, and Fort Wayne, in Indiana.
Initially, the workers were due to rejoin on May 26, but GM said it now plans it on June 1.
In Flint, the number of employees affected by the delay is around 1,000, while in Fort Wayne it is 1,300.
GM, as well as Ford and Fiat Chrysler (FCA), restarted production at their main plants in the United States on May 18 after almost eight weeks of shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
US manufacturers also restarted production at their Canadian factories a day later, on May 19.
However, in Mexico, production plants are closed for another week to slow down the transmission of COVID-19.
The Flint and Fort Wayne assembly centers receive harnesses from Mexico to connect the electrical components of the trucks they produce.
According to sources consulted by “Detroit Free Press”, 80% of the harnesses necessary to produce vehicles in North America come from Mexico.
GM noted that the production of large pickup trucks and SUVs is the company’s priority, as the situation normalizes after the halt.
These two segments provide the most profit per vehicle sold to manufacturers and are also the two with the highest demand at the moment.
Ford was forced to temporarily halt production at two plants this week after detecting three cases of COVID-19 at the Dearborn and Chicago assembly plants. The first produces the F-150 pickup truck, and the Chicago truck makes the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator SUVs.