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Ford (F) Suspends Production in Kansas on Coronavirus Scare

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Ford Motor Company (F - Free Report) temporarily suspended production at its Kansas City assembly plant in Missouri on the Transit Van side after a worker tested positive for coronavirus.

Per the protocol, the work area, facilities, equipment, team area and the path the employee took while at the factory will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. The company has also alerted people suspected to be in close contact with the infected person and has advised them to self quarantine for 14 days.

However, the production of Ford's F-150 pickup has not been disrupted, and Transit production was resumed after about an hour.

Ford, along with General Motors (GM - Free Report) and Fiat Chrysler (FCAU - Free Report) , resumed production in the U.S. plants on May 18. Notably, Ford had to shut down its Chicago Assembly Plant twice, during the industry's first week restart, for issues related to the coronavirus pandemic. The company manufactures the Ford Explorer, Police Interceptor SUV and Lincoln Aviator in the Chicago plant. Further, automakers like Toyota (TM - Free Report) , Honda and Tesla began reopening plants earlier this month.

To keep their workers safe, the automakers have rolled out policies, which include keeping the staff at least 6 feet apart, sanitizing work areas and tracking employee temperature regularly. The companies have also installed plastic screens or partitions along assembly lines to isolate staff, redesigned the workspaces for lesser physical encounters, and made wearing face masks or shields compulsory. In addition, the automakers have revamped their lunch and break areas, developed new procedures for entering and exiting the facilities, and arranged testing protocols for coronavirus suspects.

Several industries as well as government officials are closely monitoring the reopening of plants to test whether or not social distancing and coronavirus-safety protocols are actually curbing the spread of the virus.

Ford currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Shares of Ford have depreciated 35.2%, year to date, against the industry’srise of 23.4%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here


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