DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. said that all manufacturing sites in the U.S., Mexico and Canada will close through at least March 30 as the auto makers battle the coronavirus pandemic.
Ford said the shutdowns will begin after Thursday's shifts. GM said it will begin cutting production today in a cadence.
A Ford spokeswoman said Ford's parts distribution facilities will remain open so they can supply parts to customers.
"We're continuing to work closely with union leaders, especially the United Auto Workers, to find ways to help keep our workforce healthy and safe — even as we look at solutions for continuing to provide the vehicles customers really want and need," Kumar Galhotra, Ford's president of North America, said in a statement. "In these unprecedented times, we're exploring unique and creative solutions to support our workforce, customers, dealers, suppliers and communities."
Ford said it would work with the UAW on plans to restart production.
"Today's action is the prudent thing to do. By taking a shutdown and working through next steps, we protect UAW members, their families and the community," Rory Gamble, president of the UAW, said in a statement. "We have time to review best practices when the plants reopen, and we prevent the possible spread of this pandemic. We commend Ford for working with us and taking this bold step."
Earlier March 18, a source told Automotive News that the Detroit 3 auto makers have agreed to shut down their U.S. manufacturing facilities due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.
FCA and GM did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
It was not immediately clear when GM and FCA shutdowns would take effect or for how long. UAW President Rory Gamble had previously called for a preemptive two-week closure.
FCA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
This story will be updated.