In recent weeks, industry after industry limited operations in a bid to stop the spread of the virus. For companies whose activity allows it, work from home is heaven-sent, and that was the chosen path. But that it is not always possible, especially when we're talking about production.
The auto industry seemed at first reluctant in sending production personnel home, as that would have meant shutting down the assembly lines. Faced with a drop in demand for vehicles, however, most of them eventually announced closures, especially in the most affected regions.
Ford started shutting down its facilities in Europe last week, a decision shortly followed by the same steps being taken in North and South America. Now, the facilities in other parts of the world follow, making Ford one of the first carmakers to adopt closures nearly at a global level.
On Monday, March 23, the Blue Oval said its operations in India, Vietnam, Thailand and South Africa, will be closing for at least a number of weeks.
"The health and safety of our employees, dealers, customers, partners and communities is our highest priority," said in a statement Mark Ovenden, president of Ford's International Markets Group, which is handling operations in these markets.
"We are continuing to act in real time and taking added safety measures by temporarily halting production at our manufacturing sites in the international markets."
The coronavirus pandemic continues just as strong as in its early days. At the time of this writing, there are over 350,000 confirmed infections (nearly double the number of two weeks ago) around the world, and the number of related deaths has climbed to over 15,000.