Pittsburgh — Ford is aiming to restart production at some of its North American plants as early as April 6, the company said Thursday.
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Ford said it is planning to resume production at its Hermosillo Assembly Plant in Mexico on April 6 with one shift. In the US, the company currently plans to begin building vehicles at its Dearborn Truck Plant, Kentucky Truck Plant, Kansas City Assembly Plant's Transit line and Ohio Assembly Plant on April 14.
To support the assembly plants, Ford also expects to resume production at its Dearborn Stamping Plant, Dearborn Diversified Manufacturing Plant, Kansas City and Kentucky stamping plants and Sharonville Transmission Plant April 14. The company also plans to restart portions of the Van Dyke Transmission, Lima Engine and Rawsonville Components plants April 14.
"We will continue to assess public health conditions as well as supplier readiness and will adjust plans if necessary," the company said.
Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler on March 18 announced they would halt production at their North American manufacturing facilities through March to thoroughly clean and sanitize the companies' plants amid the pandemic.
S&P Global Ratings late Wednesday downgraded Ford Motor Co. stock to speculative-grade from investment-grade and placed it on CreditWatch with negative implications amid the coronavirus pandemic. The rating agency lowered its long-term issuer credit rating on Ford to BB+ from BBB- and assigned issue-level ratings of BB+ on the company's unsecured debt.
"The coronavirus has delivered supply-side and demand-side shocks to light-vehicle demand," S&P Global Ratings said. "The decision to downgrade Ford Motor Co. investment grade to speculative grade reflects that the company's credit metrics and [its] competitive position became borderline for the investment-grade rating prior to the coronavirus outbreak, and the expected downturn in light-vehicle demand made it unlikely that Ford would maintain the required metrics."