ChasingCoral

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ChasingCoral

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I exchanged a few more messages with Joe. The good news is they were ahead of schedule when the shutdown hit. The 200 person limit isn't a big problem now as they are still in pre-production, prepping the lines for production start. However, they don't have all the tools they need in Cuautitlan yet, some are still in Michigan. They'll need to get everything in place for production and the shutdowns in Michigan are delaying preparations in Cuautitlan.

His opinion is the June production start may be delayed.

As Hybrid2Bev has said, Ford has a lot riding on this and will try to "claw back time lost". Hopefully the folks in Michigan will hustle to get Cuautitlan everything they need to start up soon. Joe said a full factory complement is about 1000 workers per shift, so we need to be hopeful disease numbers keep dropping around Mexico city. I speculate they also may have to reduce numbers per shift to maintain social distancing, which may slow production. If they get running by July at least the early reservation should still be in 2020, it just might slide back later reservation numbers.
 

hybrid2bev

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I saw this today too.

European Manufacturing Production to Restart May 4, Other Regions to Be Announced

May 4

Saarlouis Vehicle Assembly Operations in Germany
Cologne Assembly Operations and Engine Plant in Germany
Valencia Vehicle Assembly Operations in Spain and
Graiova Vehicle Assembly Operations and Engine Plant in Romania

May 18
Production will restart at Valencia Engine Plant in Spain
Resumption date for Ford’s Dagenham and Bridgend Engine Plants in the United Kingdom will be confirmed soon.


DEARBORN – Ford today kicked off the next phase of its global return to work plan, announcing that vehicle and engine production will restart at most of the company’s main manufacturing sites in continental Europe on May 4. To maintain the health and safety of the workforce, the return to the workplace will be a phased approach gradually ramping up over the next few months until full production is reached.

Some European team members in non-manufacturing areas also will start to return to work in a phased approach next week. Priority will be given to those participating in key restart planning and business-critical activities, or whose job functions require them to use specialized equipment only available at Ford sites, such as vehicle testing apparatus. Other employees who can work remotely will continue to do so for the present time.

Ford’s manufacturing facilities in China began their production ramp-up with its joint venture partners in mid-February and as of yesterday, nearly 90 percent of the China workforce has returned to the workplace.

“We’ve learned a tremendous amount from our China team’s approach to returning to work, which prioritizes the health and safety of our Ford team members,” said Jim Farley, chief operating officer. “This approach has informed our global return to work plans. Given the improved conditions in Europe, with a safe and staggered approach, we believe we can begin to resume operations and get back to producing and delivering to our customers the vehicles they need.”

Details for the return to work plans for North America, South America and the International Markets Group (IMG) will be announced at a later date and will be determined on a regional basis.

The approach outlined in Europe’s initial return to work strategy follows the five priority conditions that Kiersten Robinson outlined during a Global Team Huddle earlier this month.

1. Restrictions lifted: Government lockdown restrictions are lifted and government supports resumption of work.

2. Modeling containment of virus: Data from health organizations, academic modeling, WHO and CDC guidelines, health experts and Ford GDIA, predictive modeling will be used to monitor the containment of the virus by region or city.

3. Employee health and safety conditions met: Core safety rules must be in place, including issuing of personal protective equipment (PPE) and temperature scanning as well as modifications to workspace and facility layouts.

4. Return to work schedule in place: Phased and employee-centric startup cadence established.

5. Employee learning: Focused communications for all teams to prepare employees to feel confident about their return, including the creation of Ford’s global Return to Work Playbook which will be available for all team members.

As we’ve done in China and we’re beginning to do in Europe, the first group of employees to return will be those who have work that is place-dependent and requires them to be at a Ford location, such as manufacturing and testing facilities.

For those members of our global workforce who are effectively working remotely, there are no plans to immediately return to a Ford building. To ensure the priority conditions can be met, it could be June or July before we start to return those who have been working remotely, however no date has been established.

Given the importance of the health and safety of our workforce, returning to work will be a very different experience for all of us. To ensure a healthy and safe work environment, we will be implementing a daily digital health assessment that includes a four-question health survey and temperature scan in order to gain access to Ford facilities. We will provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to each employee, and we have modified offices and common spaces, and redesigned cafeteria options to meet social distancing requirements. Employees will also have enhanced access to cleaning supplies.

Although most Ford facilities are closed, across the globe, a small group of team members have been in Ford facilities keeping business-critical operations going including the Ford Credit and Customer Service teams who continue provide to support our customers, and the teams on Project Apollo who have been making respirators, face shields, masks and gowns.

This is a new experience for all of us. We will continue to provide resources and materials over the coming weeks to answer your questions and help you prepare to return to work.
 
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ChasingCoral

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Awesome to see this progress in Ford-Europe!
 

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As Hybrid2Bev has said, Ford has a lot riding on this and will try to "claw back time lost". Hopefully the folks in Michigan will hustle to get Cuautitlan everything they need to start up soon. Joe said a full factory complement is about 1000 workers per shift, so we need to be hopeful disease numbers keep dropping around Mexico city. I speculate they also may have to reduce numbers per shift to maintain social distancing, which may slow production. If they get running by July at least the early reservation should still be in 2020, it just might slide back later reservation numbers.
1,000 workers per shift? This seems like a lot of workers for an automated assembly line. Especially when they may only be making 5,000 to 10,000 cars per month.

I'm no automotive assembly plant expert, but it seems like a lot of workers.
 

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1,000 workers per shift? This seems like a lot of workers for an automated assembly line. Especially when they may only be making 5,000 to 10,000 cars per month.

I'm no automotive assembly plant expert, but it seems like a lot of workers.
It takes more people to facilitate running the plant than to do the actual assembly work. There are a lot of support functions that require work just to make assembly process possible. Parts distribution, inspections, transportation, sanitation, administration and many other functions. So the number of workers seems reasonable to me.
 

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1,000 workers per shift? This seems like a lot of workers for an automated assembly line. Especially when they may only be making 5,000 to 10,000 cars per month.

I'm no automotive assembly plant expert, but it seems like a lot of workers.
It takes more people to facilitate running the plant than to do the actual assembly work. There are a lot of support functions that require work just to make assembly process possible. Parts distribution, inspections, transportation, sanitation, administration and many other functions. So the number of workers seems reasonable to me.
Leo Laporte did a live broadcast from the Ford Rouge plant in 2010 where they were making F-150s. I found it very insightful.

 

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dbsb3233

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1,000 workers per shift? This seems like a lot of workers for an automated assembly line. Especially when they may only be making 5,000 to 10,000 cars per month.

I'm no automotive assembly plant expert, but it seems like a lot of workers.
That was my first thought too. But then I though about what happens before and after the assembly line. Think about all the parts that need to be received, stored, and moved into place to queue up for making hundreds of vehicles every day. That's probably a bigger operation than the assembly line itself. Like a small city.
 

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Updates from today's team huddle.

No Mach-E or launch specific updates were given.

Jim Hackett was speaking about how Europe/Mexico is starting up operations on May 4th, then pivoted to US operations and said we're taking an extra 2 weeks (to get ready). I took that to mean we're looking at a May 18th target to start US manufacturing (?).

We remain committed to our investment in Rivian. In fact, Jim said the plan was to add more capital investment in the fall of this year. We're getting great insights on how to build an all new vehicle platform. We'll confirm our commitment to Rivian by appointing a replacement Rivian board member since Jim Hinrichs left Ford. Lincoln is still committed to building an EV.

Stewart Rowley confirmed our plans to return to work in Europe on May 4th in a staggered way. Adding additional shifts and locations as we go. Dealers in Europe are opening up, Spain/France on May 11, Italy on May 4th and Germany and 9 other countries already have dealers open.

Jim Farley says that 90% of our China staff is back in the office and we're seeing China sales accelerating. US retail sales are currently at over 80% of pre-COVID levels. 96% of our US dealers are open or semi-open.

Hau Thai-Tang says the Borg Warner plant that produces critical F-150 transfer cases is under repair. We have about 300 Ford employees on site basically rebuilding from the ground up. We expect the plant to be up and running by the time our US manufacturing starts. Just yesterday the plant was able to successfully run the transfer case process from beginning to end.

Fun side note:
Bill Ford said his wife gave him a quarantine buzz cut because he couldn't wait anymore.
1588170693611.png
 

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Whatever it is, still sad to know that a groundbreaking American car is not made in USA but imported to it.
 

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Whatever it is, still sad to know that a groundbreaking American car is not made in USA but imported to it.
Unfortunate, but it's largely an issue of cost, especially since they are possibly making very low margins in this until sales volumes can grow significantly.
 

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Unfortunate, but it's largely an issue of cost, especially since they are possibly making very low margins in this until sales volumes can grow significantly.
And better Mexico than China, at least. And by an American company, with much of the work still done in and by Americans (design, testing, software, etc).

If it were assembled in the US, it would need to cost $thousands more because of high labor costs. It's a tricky issue, weighing Americans jobs vs better prices for American consumers.
 

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And better Mexico than China, at least. And by an American company, with much of the work still done in and by Americans (design, testing, software, etc).

If it were assembled in the US, it would need to cost $thousands more because of high labor costs. It's a tricky issue, weighing Americans jobs vs better prices for American consumers.
Its not just US consumers that would pay more if it was made in the US. European customers would too as there are tariffs to add on if the cars came from the US whereas Mexico has a trade deal with Europe and there are no tariffs so it keeps the price lower. More profit for Ford
 

dbsb3233

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Its not just US consumers that would pay more if it was made in the US. European customers would too as there are tariffs to add on if the cars came from the US whereas Mexico has a trade deal with Europe and there are no tariffs so it keeps the price lower. More profit for Ford
I don't think tariff proceeds go to the company, they go to the government (basically a tax).

But yes, higher labor costs would pretty much result in higher purchase price for customers in any country. I thought about that too, but just didn't want to complicate the reply. So I left it in the "American car" context the OP used. :cool:
 
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