DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. is joining other automakers and suppliers by targeting May 4 to restart assembly lines in at least one U.S. plant, according to a union official.
In a letter to members, Kentucky Truck Plant chairman Allen Hughes said Ford planned to reopen its Louisville facility on a two-shift, Monday-Thursday pattern, although he noted “this is not finalized and is very tentative.”
It was unclear whether Ford was targeting a May 4 restart for all U.S. plants, or if it was specific to Kentucky Truck. A Ford spokeswoman on Thursday said there were no updates to announce beyond its previous announcement that production would be delayed indefinitely.
May 4 is also the date of U.S. plant reopenings at Fiat Chrysler, Honda, Hyundai, Volvo and Toyota and supplier Magna International Inc., as the industry seeks to begin recovery from the coronavirus pandemic that has halted production, closed dealer showrooms and stymied sales demand.
Magna President Swamy Kotagiri expressed concern in an interview with Reuters that the industry avoid false starts.
“The most important thing is, how can we as an industry coordinate and minimize the start-stops?” he said. “If someone comes and says, ‘It’s not May 4, it’s May 10.’ That’s OK. It’s easy to deal with. But if somebody comes and says to start on the 4th and we stop again on the 12th, that’s a bigger problem.”