The Oakville Ford Assembly Plant will temporarily shut down for a week as the company works to determine its approach to the coronavirus outbreak.
Detroit's three automakers alone will idle about 150,000 workers.
Kumar Galhotra, Ford's president of North America, added, "We're continuing to work closely with union leaders, especially the United Auto Workers, to find ways to help keep our workforce healthy and safe - even as we look at solutions for continuing to provide the vehicles customers really want and need". Production will be halted through March 30, the company said.
"Recent developments in North America make it clear this is the right thing to do now", GM Chief Executive Mary Barra said in a separate statement.
Canada-US border is shutting down
Both countries had already issued sweeping travel bans but had maintained exemptions for each other. "This is massive. Freeland emphasized truck drivers are critical as they supply grocery stores and medical goods in both directions.
Of course, Detroit's Big Three are far from alone in this crisis as Hyundai announced an employee at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama has tested positive. The company said a plant worker tested positive for the coronavirus but had not been to work in over a week.
Ford Motor Co confirmed the news, saying it would close its North American plants after Thursday evening's shifts through March 30 to thoroughly clean the factories in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
As the coronavirus spread across China in February, a number of manufacturers in China including Apple Inc partner Foxconn and SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile Co Ltd, a joint venture automaker formed by GM and two Chinese partners, said they had set up production lines to make masks and medical clothing. The company says it's now working to clean and disinfect the plant in accordance to state public health guidelines. The closures will allow for thorough cleaning and sanitizing of plants. Each company has other reasons to stay open as well. Early today, TechCrunch published an internal Tesla memo detailing employee instructions for its Fremont-based factory. Employees on the first shift have been sent home. (This includes Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia). Tesla has conflicting guidance from different levels of government, the email said.
The note said production workers should still report for work unless they aren't feeling well.
"They put profits over their workers every time". We have time to review best practices when the plants reopen, and we prevent the possible spread of this pandemic.