One of Ford's largest production plants outside North America will remain closed for at least one week starting from today due to the global coronavirus outbreak. The manufacturer has reported three employees tested positive for coronavirus and this forced it to make the drastic decision.
"We have had three positive cases of Covid-19 in the Ford Valencia plant in the past 24 hours," a company spokesperson commented. "We are taking quick action to follow the established protocol, including the identification and self-isolation of all employees who had close contact with the affected workers. We will take all other appropriate steps to ensure that risk from this situation is minimized."
Ford also said it is currently monitoring the situation closely before it decides on its next steps. The brand isolated all its workers who had contact with the infected employees. Further details will be discussed between the plant's management and unions today.
The Valencia plant is one of Ford's biggest factories in terms of production capacity outside North America. The manufacturer currently assembles about 400,000 vehicles annually, including the Mondeo, S-Max, Galaxy, and Kuga. More than 7,000 employees currently work there.
Spain is currently one of the European countries with the most coronavirus cases globally. According to the latest data, the country has 8,352 active cases, 272 of which are being described as serious cases.
Meanwhile, Ford has also announced it is taking the necessary measures to protect "employees, dealers, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders." As a result, starting today, Ford is "instructing much of our global workforce – except those in business-critical roles that cannot be done away from Ford facilities – to work remotely until further notice."