Report: May 18th Could Be It for Detroit Three

Unlike their foreign rivals, Ford, General Motors, and, belatedly, Fiat Chrysler held off on nailing down a specific date for a production restart. The latter company was expected to begin ramping up production starting May 4th, but last week’s announcement by UAW President Rory Gamble made it the odd man out. The plan’s now off the table.

According to one report, the three automakers will present a united front, with each operation coming back online on the same day.

Monday’s Wall Street Journal report cites sources who claim the Detroit Three are focused on a May 18th return following consultation with the United Auto Workers and Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan. On Friday, Whitmer extended the state’s shutdown order until May 15th.

Late last week, the UAW’s president issued a statement saying an early-May restart date would place workers in unnecessary jeopardy. Despite all three Detroit automakers working on strict new health protocols for their plants, Gamble said the situation was too dicey. That, plus Michigan’s lockdown extension, took the wind out of FCA’s sales.

“In light of the updated state stay in place orders, the Company is re-evaluating its plans to resume its North American operations and will communicate new restart dates in due course,” FCA said in a Monday statement reported by The Detroit News.

The WSJ‘s sources claim the May 18th return date remains tentative. There’s apparently still work to be done on the health front, which could push back the restart date.

a version of this article first appeared on TTAC

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