Automakers look to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
It’s an odd time in America as companies, schools, and government agencies rush to respond to the spreading coronavirus. The Big Three – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford, and General Motors – began asking employees who can work from home to do so, according to Automotive News. The directives come from the companies’ CEOs as they adjust to the changing situation with some increasing workplace sanitation while others limiting visitors and in-person meetings.
At FCA, which had one employee at an Indiana factory test positive for the coronavirus, extra measures are being taken to guarantee proper sanitation, according to the publication. The company disinfected the employee’s workstation and is sanitizing the entire plant as production continues. FCA is also limiting visitors to FCA sites. FCA CEO Mike Manley is encouraging employees to work remotely; however, those who have to meet in-person for their duties will do so.
Ford CEO Jim Hackett echoed similar sentiments, asking employees to begin working from home this upcoming Monday. Ford does plan to keep its World Headquarters and Product Development Center open for small teams to continue any necessary work. General Motors issued similar guidance to its white-collar employees who can work remotely. The automaker is adjusting work schedules to allow for additional cleaning across the company, while the company has stress-tested GM’s remote work capability.
The mandates come after the spread of the coronavirus canceled the Geneva Motor Show and postponed the New York Auto Show, making things even more complicated for employees as automakers look to adjust to an increasingly isolated new reality. Other automakers, such as Honda, Toyota, and Volkswagen, are also taking precautions. Toyota is restricting travel and reducing meeting sizes while, along with Honda, increasing sanitation measures for its workplaces. Honda is also screening visitors to all its sites.