Some auto makers are targeting May to resume at least some North American production.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans to progressively restart production at U.S. and Canadian facilities beginning May 4, the company said Monday. Plans to resume output in Mexico will be announced separately.
Honda Motor Co. said April 6 that it is extending through May 1 the production suspension at all automobile, engine and transmission plants in the U.S. and Canada. Honda's suspension began March 23.
The disclosures come as the number of plant-worker deaths across the industry related to COVID-19 grows. So far, 11 FCA employees have died after contracting the virus, including 10 UAW members who were working at sites in Michigan and Indiana. Six Ford Motor Co. workers have died. An employee at Hyundai's assembly plant in Montgomery, Ala., also died from the coronavirus, the auto maker confirmed Friday.
"During this current production pause, we are working with government officials and our unions to implement new procedures to certify the daily wellness of our work force while also redesigning work stations to maintain proper social distancing and expanding the already extensive cleaning protocols at all locations," FCA said in a statement. "As a result of these actions, we will only restart operations with safe, secure and sanitized workplaces to protect all of our employees."
Ford, which said previously that it was suspending North American production indefinitely, has not set a return date.
"We are continuing to assess public health conditions, government guidelines and supplier readiness to determine when the time is right to resume production in our North American plants," the company said April 6. "We'll share more detail at the appropriate time."
General Motors also has not set a restart date for North American output.
"We are actively monitoring the situation, and when it is determined that we can safely resume regular production, we will," a spokesman said.
BMW also said April 6 taht its plant in South Carolina—the largest automotive exporting plant in the U.S.—would remain closed through April 30. A company statement didn't commit to a restart date.
"We continue to be concerned about the health and safety of the entire BMW work force," the company said in a statement. "During this time, additional cleaning and disinfecting will be performed at work stations throughout the plant."
BMW said that while operations are suspended, it "will adjust its production volume, shift models and work force structure to reflect the changing market. The company will continue to monitor the situation and take appropriate action when it is needed."