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Ford Shuts Down More International Factories as the Coronavirus Spreads

By John Rosevear - Mar 23, 2020 at 10:58AM

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Ford suspended production in India, South Africa, and parts of Asia.

Ford Motor Company (F -2.67%) said on Monday that it has decided to temporarily shut down its factories in India, South Africa, Thailand, and Vietnam in response to the fast-growing coronavirus pandemic. 

Ford said that it suspended production at its factories in the four countries as of Saturday, March 21. The shutdowns will last for "several weeks" depending on the local situations and government requirements, Ford said.

"The health and safety of our employees, dealers, customers, partners and communities is our highest priority," said Mark Ovenden, president of Ford's International Markets Group. "We are continuing to act in real time and taking added safety measures" by shutting down these factories, he said. 

Ford Ranger pickups on the production line at Ford's Silverton Assembly Plant in South Africa.

Ford has shut down 8 more overseas factories as the coronavirus pandemic spreads. Image source: Ford Motor Company.

Eight Ford plants are affected, including four in India, two in South Africa, and one each in Vietnam and Thailand. 

Last week, Ford shut down its plants in continental Europe, the U.K., and North America in response to the pandemic. The company also moved to hoard cash, suspending its dividend and drawing down $15.4 billion from its credit lines as it hunkers down for an extended production halt. 

Ford said that it will use the cash to continue its future-product development efforts to the extent possible during the extended shutdowns. It has ordered all of its employees outside of China to work from home if they can for the time being.

Ford is not seeking any immediate government assistance in the United States. 

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