Ford suspends Vietnam production

By Dat Nguyen   March 24, 2020 | 02:40 am PT
Ford suspends Vietnam production
Workers assemble a vehicle in Ford's auto plant in Hai Duong Province. Photo acquired by VnExpress.
Ford Motors has become the first automaker in Vietnam to suspend production as a safety measure amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

The U.S. company said in statement Monday that its assembly plant in the northern Hai Duong Province will cease operations starting March 26.

The plant, which assembles the crossover SUV EcoSport and passenger vanTransit, will be suspended for several weeks depending on the pandemic situation, the statement said.

A Ford Vietnam spokesperson said that sales of vehicles and parts will continue as usual. "Ford Vietnam has enough supply for the next several weeks."

Ford dealers in Hanoi said that they still have enough supply until the end of April, but shortages could occur in May, which could result in lower discounts.

The automaker had said in January that it would invest $82 million in expanding its Hai Duong plant to boost production capacity from 14,000 units a year to 40,000.

In the first two months, Ford sold 2,527 units in Vietnam, down 49 percent year-on-year, according to the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association.

Other Ford plants in India, Thailand and South Africa will also be closed, the company said. 

"The health and safety of our employees, dealers, customers, partners and communities is our highest priority," said Mark Ovenden, president of Ford’s International Markets Group.

General Motors Co (GM.N) and Ford Motor Co (F.N) said on Wednesday they were in talks with White House officials about how they could support production of medical equipment like ventilators that may be needed to combat the coronavirus outbreak, according to Reuters.

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