(RTTNews) – General Motors is reopening its plants in Mexico after it received approval from the Mexican government to restart operations in the country, according to reports.
The automaker had suspended its operations in Mexico in the third week of March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
GM’s Mexican manufacturing facilities are important for the automaker as they supply critical parts, including wiring harness, for its manufacturing units in the U.S.
GM de Mexico plans to open its plants gradually. The company will restart the transmissions and engines plants in Ramos Arizpe and Silao facilities, located in the northern state of Coahuila and central state of Guanajuato respectively, from late Thursday.
GM’s assembly plants at Ramos Arizpe and Silao could restart operations on Friday depending on the status of their suppliers. The automaker is yet to decide when to restart manufacturing operations in Toluca, near Mexico City, and in the central state of San Luis Potosi.
GM’s plant in San Luis PotosÃ makes the Chevrolet Trax, Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain, while the Ramos Arizpe facility makes the Chevrolet Blazer and Chevrolet Sonic.
GM’s Silao plant in Guanajuato, Mexico, is one of the biggest auto plants in Mexico. The plant makes certain versions of the fast selling Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra heavy-duty pickup trucks.
The Mexican government considered auto manufacturing, construction and mining as essential activities and added them to the official list of essential activities last week. However, they need to meet certain safety protocols.
GM is putting in place health and safety protocols while reopening the plans. Employees returning to work in Mexico must wear masks and glasses at all times, and maintain a “safe distance” from each other.
The entry of workers to the plants will be controlled at the entrances and workers will also have their temperatures checked before they enter the facilities.
Earlier this week, GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler restarted their plants in the U.S., after having shut down them in late March. In the U.S. too, the automakers have implemented new safety measures to help keep the coronavirus from spreading.