Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is on its way to becoming the first to restart its operations among Detroit’s Big Three following a two-month shutdown across North America due to coronavirus concerns.
In its first-quarter investor call this week, the automaker revealed its plans to reopen its facilities and allow workers to return to the production line.
“FCA remains focused on implementing robust protocols that will make our employees feel confident that all precautions have been taken to ensure our facilities are safe, secure, and disinfected when production resumes,” a spokesperson for FCA shared.
Most of FCA’s plants in the United States and Canada are set to begin work again, except for its facility in Belvidere, Illinois, which will remain closed until June 1.
Plants in Mexico, meanwhile, will also remain closed until further notice. The manufacturer said it would provide an update on its operations in Mexico in the coming weeks.
Along with the reopening of its doors, FCA said it has developed a solid restart plan with the guidance of the United Auto Workers union, Unifor of Canada, as well as local governments.
According to UAW President Rory Gamble, the union has given the automaker the go-signal to reopen its plants and let the workers return to their jobs.
“We continue to advocate for as much testing as possible at the current time and eventually full testing when available. As for the start date, the companies contractually make that decision and we all knew this day would come. Our UAW focus and role is and will continue to be on health and safety protocols to protect our members,” Gamble said.
At the time FCA revealed its plans to reopen on May 18, the two other companies comprising the Detroit Big Three—General Motors and Ford—have not finalized their restart dates. The Mercedes-Benz division of Daimler was the first to restart its operations in the U.S. on April 27, followed by limited production at Hyundai and Kia plants in Georgia and Alabama, respectively.