Ford: Not reopening plants March 30

Ford says it has had no reports of crashes or injuries. / (MGN)
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(WILX) -- Ford Motor Company announced Tuesday that it will not be reopening its plants as early as it originally planned.

Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler all announced last week they would be shutting down their plants last week because of the coronavirus.

The Big Three said plants would be closed until at least March 30 so that facilities could be sanitized, however, now Ford officials are saying their closure will last even longer.

At this time, there is no word on when Ford will reopen its plants or if GM and Fiat Chrysler follow suit and keep their plants shut down longer too.

Ford has partnered with GE HealthCare and 3M to create more medical equipment and supplies for healthcare workers, first responders and patients.

The automaker is teaming with GE Healthcare to expand the production of a simplified version of GE’s existing ventilator design to help patients with respiratory failure or difficulty breathing.

It is also assembling more than 100,000 plastic face shields per week at one of its manufacturing sites and will also use its in-house 3D printing capability to make components for use in personal protective equipment.

Ford said it also will work with 3M to produce a new kind of powered air-purifying respirator for healthcare workers.

The automaker said the respirators will be made using parts from both Ford and 3M.

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