Detroit’s car companies are targeting May 18 to resume some production at their U.S. factories, according to people familiar with the plans. Executives from General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler in recent days tentatively settled on the timeline after talks with United Auto Workers leaders and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office, the people said.
The UAW last week expressed concern that reopening factories early next month—as earlier target dates had called for—wouldn’t provide enough time to develop safety protocols to protect workers from the risk of infection. The companies continue to work with the union on drawing up safety protocols for reducing exposure risk for workers and have made progress in recent days, although they haven’t finalized those terms, the people said.
The May 18 start date would apply to all of the Detroit companies’ U.S. factories, even in states where stay-at-home orders are lifting sooner, the people familiar with the discussions said.