Ford Motor Co. has announced it will temporarily shut down production at its assembly factory in northern Vietnam in response to the growing impact of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The production suspension will begin on Thursday, according to Ford’s announcement.
Ford’s manufacturing sites in Thailand and South Africa will also follow suit from Friday while its vehicle and engine production in India has been ceased since Saturday last week.
The U.S. company is the first automaker in Vietnam to halt production as a safety measure amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
A representative of Ford Vietnam said that the suspension will last for a few weeks, depending on the situation of the disease, the government's restriction order, the status of supplier operations, customer demand, and agents’ inventory.
Key personnel in principal positions will remain available at the site, being equipped with necessary safety equipment to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection.
Other activities including sales and auto parts service are still operating as usual, according to the representative.
“Ford Vietnam has currently maintained sufficient supply for sales activities in the next few weeks. We hope we can meet the needs of customers during this time effectively,” the representative told the Vietnam News Agency.
Ford Vietnam was established in 1995. Its plant in Hai Duong Province in northern Vietnam covers nearly 28,000 square meters, employing approximately 670 employees.
In January, Ford said it was investing US$82 million in expanding the plant to boost production capacity to 40,000 vehicles from the current volume of 14,000 units per year.