As carmarkers around the world prepare to resume assembly on the other side of COVID-19, a few have started devising plans based on protocols learned during ventilator production, as reported by Reuters.
Detroit’s Ford and General Motors have produced ventilators in their US facilities to support the healthcare system in the nation. Through this, they have adopted safety protocols from the USA's CDC (Centers of Disease Control and Prevention), effectively allowing a test of safety procedures to be done with a reduced workforce.
General Motors will look to resume US production with protocols learnt during this time and some inspired by Amazon.com – a business that remained open during the coronavirus pandemic – including screening employees’ temperatures before they enter a facility.
“We know the protocols to keep people safe,” GM’s executive vice president for global manufacturing, Gerald Johnson told Reuters.
GM has already resumed production in China and South Korea.
Other carmakers and suppliers in the region also believe the use of masks and gloves, temperature screening, a spacing of 0.9-1.8m between workers and a daily health questionnaire will be sufficient to resume production, according to Reuters.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) may resume production as soon as next week in its Italian plants. The Italian union has proposed revisions to workplace operations including modifications to meal timing to reduce exposure in canteens, however FCA has not officially announced any protocols.
In Maranello, Ferrari plans to offer voluntary blood tests to employers who have concerns they may have the virus – a process GM does not believe will help curb transmission.
Toyota, Honda and FCA are aiming to resume production at US facilities at the beginning of May. The hope among car manufacturers in Europe is that production will resume in the second half of April 2020.