OTTAWA (dpa-AFX) - General Motors said it plans to increase vehicle production at its plants in North America from next week. The automaker noted that the restart of production at its component and assembly plants has gone smoothly.
'Our comprehensive safety procedures are working well, and our suppliers have done a great job implementing their return-to-work strategies and safety playbooks. We are now in a position to increase production to meet strengthening customer demand and strong dealer demand,' GM said in a statement.
Starting Monday, three of GM's crossover assembly plants in the U.S. and Canada will operate two production shifts, while three assembly plants in the U.S. that build mid- and full-size pickups will move to three-shift operations from the present one shift. The company also said that five other assembly plants in the U.S. will operate one production shift.
The Detroit auto giants - GM, Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler - restarted their plants in the U.S. on May 18, after shutting down them in late-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The automakers have implemented new safety measures in the U.S. to help keep the coronavirus from spreading, including touchless body temperature scanning, mandatory face mask use, staggered shifts, washing of hands, and a device that buzzes if workers get too close to each other.
Also last week, GM reopened its plants in Mexico after it received approval from the Mexican government to restart operations in the country. GM's Mexican manufacturing facilities are important for the automaker as they supply critical parts, including wiring harness, for its manufacturing units in the U.S.
GM is putting in place health and safety protocols while reopening the plants in Mexico too. Employees returning to work in Mexico must wear masks and glasses at all times, and maintain a 'safe distance' from each other.
The entry of workers to the plants will be controlled at the entrances and workers will also have their temperatures checked before they enter the facilities.
Meanwhile, Ford temporarily closed two assembly plants last week after some employees tested positive for COVID-19, according to reports. The closures came just days after the company reopened its U.S. plants.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
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