COVID-19 and the auto industry: All the plant shutdowns due to coronavirus

| March 31, 2020 More

Automakers across the US and Europe have all declared temporary shutdowns, including Detroit’s Big Three. Many have extended shutdowns further.

As the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the world, automakers are taking extreme measures in the form of plant closures to halt the spread of COVID-19, which the coronavirus causes. The situation remains fluid as more European companies suspend work and US automaker extend shutdown periods.

So far, here are all the automakers and companies that have elected to halt production in the US and Europe. Information on Detroit’s Big Three begin our coverage, with all other shutdowns organized by the date automakers announced them following.


Ford shut down all European and North American production on March 19 to help combat the spread of COVID-19. While Ford intended to reopen facilities and restart production on March 30, the automaker said on March 26 that it would work to open a select number of facilities beginning April 14. On March 31, Ford further delayed the goal indefinitely. However, it plans to start ventilator production at one of its US facilities on April 20.

General Motors

GM joined Ford on March 18 in announcing a total suspension of all North American production starting March 19. The automaker will pull its facilities offline in a “cadence” and each plant will receive specific instructions. GM added this suspension will run through Monday, but production restart will be evaluated on a week-by-week basis. GM hasn’t made any announcement regarding when its plants will resume normal production, but it will build ventilators and masks at two US facilities. The automaker made the decision on its own before the Trump administration invoked the Defense Production Act, which will force GM to build ventilators.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

FCA joined Ford and GM on March 18 to announce it will suspend all North American operations to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Each automaker plans to reevaluate the situation this week, and decided to keep plants shut until April 14. FCA previously announced a one-week suspension for production at its European plants.


Kia on March 24 said it will suspend production at its manufacturing plant in Georgia starting Monday. The shutdown will last two weeks, and includes a previously planned suspension to retool for new vehicles. The automaker said it plans to restart production on April 13, and in the meantime, the plant will undergo cleaning and sanitation measures.


The Japanese automaker said on March 24 it will halt production at its Japanese plants for 13 days. When they come back online, the company said it will only run daytime shifts through April 30. Mazda’s sole plant in Mexico will shut down for 10 days starting March 24, and its plant in Thailand will suspend operations for an identical time period beginning Monday.

Aston Martin

The British luxury carmaker said on March 24 it will suspend all production starting the same day. The company plans to reopen its plants across the UK on April 20.


The Swedish luxury carmaker made its production suspension official on March 20 and said its European plant will close until April 5. In the US, its plant will go idle starting March 26 with plans to restart operations on April 14. Volvo also reported a bit of hope from China, though. All four of its Chinese plants are up and running again and Volvo noted showroom traffic has returned to normal.


The startup electric carmaker said on March 20 it will suspend all operations at Rivian facilities. The automaker had not started production of its first vehicle, the R1T electric pickup, but preproduction was underway. All workers will receive their full pay, but the company did not say when it expects to come back online.


After a lot of back and forth, Tesla said on March 20 it will close its signature plant in Fremont, California, starting March 23. The news followed confusion as the automaker appeared to ignore a shelter-in-place order for the county, but then cited unclear guidance from the government. CEO Elon Musk has mentioned ventilator production could start in the weeks to come.


France’s supercar maker, Bugatti, said on March 20 it has closed its production plant in Molsheim to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The firm threw its full support behind French regulations and said keeping its workers healthy is a top priority.


The British luxury brand said on March 20 it will suspend production starting the same day in the UK. The factory shutdown will last four weeks, according to the company. Like so many other automakers, the company said it wants to protect its workers, but also acknowledged a slowdown in demand in markets around the world and supply chain interruptions.

Jaguar-Land Rover

On March 20, Jaguar-Land Rover confirmed it will temporarily shut down production at its UK facilities. Plants in Brazil and India will continue humming along for now, and the automaker said it hopes to restart production in the UK on April 20.


Starting March 21, Volkswagen will temporarily suspend production at its Chattanooga, Tennessee, manufacturing plant. The automaker made the announcement on March 19 and said all workers will receive their full pay during this time. Like numerous other facilities, VW said it will use the week to conduct a deep clean of the facility and sanitize the entire factory.

On March 17, Volkswagen Group announced it will suspend production at numerous production sites across Europe, including Slovakia, Portugal and Spain. Right now, the automaker said it expects the suspensions will last two weeks. The shutdowns also affect VW Group components plants.


On March 18, Toyota joined a growing list of automakers to suspend all North American production operations. Every plant in the US, Canada and Mexico will shut down starting March 23. After reassessment, Toyota announced just one day later on March 19 said it would be shut down all production until April 3. On March 26, Toyota reassessed the situation again and said the production suspension will now last until April 20.

Toyota said every facility will undergo a thorough cleaning process and teams will sanitize the entire facility. Toyota asked workers to take the time to also help adjust to life at home as more regions close schools, leaving children at home.


The Japanese automaker’s sole US production plant will suspend production temporarily starting March 23, it announced on March 19. The company planned to restart operations on March 29. Subaru did not immediately return a request for comment to determine if the plant has reopened on schedule. The move will help Subaru adjust to market demand and protect the health of workers at the plant. Workers will receive their full wages during the shutdown.


The Japanese automaker became the first company operating in the US to announce a major production stoppage on March 18. The production suspension, which also applies to transmission and engine plants, was set to end this week, but on March 26 Honda pushed the suspension by another week. Honda currently expects to resume production on April 7.


The South Korean automaker said on March 18 that it temporarily shut down its plant in Alabama after a worker tested positive for COVID-19. The company said the worker had not been on the job recently and all team members were made aware of the situation. 

Hyundai expects their Alabama plant to reopen by April 13. The plant will undergo additional sanitation measures during the suspension.


The Japanese automaker announced on March 18 it will suspend all production in the US starting March 20. Operations in Mexico and Canada are not affected at this time. The plant shutdowns will run through April 6, according to the company, and it underscored it received no reports of COVID-19 cases at its facilities.


The automaker said on March 18 it will stop production at its German plants to keep its workforce safe and healthy. The work stoppage will last at least two weeks, and like Daimler, Porsche said the global supply chain makes it impossible to continue output as normal. The company is also prepared for a decline in demand and will work to secure its finances.


The British luxury marque said on March 18 it would suspend production at its UK facility for two weeks starting March 23. The shutdown will extend into a pre-planned two-week shutdown for the Easter holiday as an effort to keep workers healthy and follow new guidelines put in place by the federal government.


The German automaker that oversees the Mercedes-Benz brand said on March 17 it will stop all production in Europe for at least two weeks. The automaker cited global supply chains that cannot operate at their full capacity and said the precaution is also meant to protect its workforce from the virus’ spread.

PSA Group

The automaker that oversees the Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Opel and Vauxhall brands announced on March 16 all of its plants across Europe will shut down on a tiered schedule. As of March 16, two plants shut down, one in France and one in Spain. On March 17, eight additional plants went offline; three other plants halted production on March 18 and two more on March 19. The plants are spread across France, Spain, the UK, Poland, Germany and other locations. The plants were to reopen on March 27, but PSA Group announced that day it would establish a new timeline for resumption.


France’s Renault said it will suspend production until further notice at 12 of its sites across the country on March 16.


The Italian supercar maker announced on March 16 that both of its plants in Maranello and Modena, Italy, will shut down until March 27. On March 27 Ferrari postponed its production resumption until April 14.


The automaker said on March 13 it will halt operations at its plant in Sant’Agata Bolognese. It’s unclear when production will restart.


The motorcycle maker first announced it would stop production at its plant in Italy on March 13. The plant was supposed to reopen last week, but the company hasn’t delivered any new information.


Written by Sean Symkowski on Roadshow by CNET

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