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U.S. auto plants restart their engines

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published on May 18, 2020 - Duration: 00:59s

U.S. auto plants restart their engines

The U.S. auto industry slowly returned to life Monday.

As Fred Katayama reports, some assembly plants reopened after the two-month lockdown.

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U.S. auto plants restart their engines

Hundreds of Fiat Chrysler workers returned to work for the early morning shift at the company's truck plant in Warren, Michigan.

It's one of the vehicle assembly plants the major U.S. automakers are re-opening Monday in the U.S. after the lockdown that began in March.

The plants have rolled out safety measures such as monitoring the temperatures of workers, employing face masks and shields, deep-cleaning floors and putting a safe distance between staff.

GM is reopening a number of plants on one shift, including 3200 hourly workers at pickup truck factories in Flint, Michigan and Fort Wayne, Indiana.

There's a question as to how many workers will punch in at Ford's truck and SUV plants in Kentucky, given the lack of daycare while schools are still closed.

Restarting the auto plants is critical to ending the cash drain caused by the two-month shutdown.

The auto industry accounts for 6% of U.S. economic activity, and it'll be closely watched to see whether a range of industries can re-open plants in large numbers without risking infections.

Shares of GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler climbed more than 7% in early trading Monday.

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