Michigan reopening prompts firm dates for Big 3 automaker restarts

Author: Amanda Hay

2020/05/08

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US automakers firmed restart dates for 18 May as Michigan announced phased reopening plans following coronavirus-related shutdowns.

Michigan will allow manufacturing workers, including the Big 3 automakers, to return to work as of 11 May, according to an executive order by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed on Thursday.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), General Motors and Ford will resume North American production the week of 18 May.

Rory L Gamble, president of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, said in a statement on the union’s website that the automakers are contractually authorised to set the restart dates per collective bargaining.

Ford said in a release that parts distribution centers would resume full operations on 11 May, while assembly plants will resume on 18 May with reduced shifts. The company said the supply chain ramp-up would be gradual as workers adjust to new safety protocols.

Commodities markets have long awaited automaker restarts for firm signs that demand would start to return after being sidelined nearly two months.

Commodities exposed to the automotive sector include base oils, butadiene (BD), nylon resins, styrene butadiene rubber (SBR), polypropylene (PP), acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and polycarbonate (PC).

Visit the ICIS coronavirus topic page for analysis of the impact on chemical markets and links to latest news.

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