GM tells some plants it will begin restart May 18

Kalea Hall
The Detroit News

Detroit — General Motors Co. sent out alerts Tuesday to United Auto Workers members at some factories, alerting them that it plans to begin to restart factories May 18. 

The alert, obtained by The Detroit News, says: "Tomorrow, we will announce externally that GM plans to begin a limited, cadenced and site-specific approach for a return to the workplace in many of our North American manufacturing facilities. We are targeting Monday, May 18, and we are collaborating with the state government and union partners."

FILE - General Motors headquarters at the Renaissance Center in Detroit.

The alert further says that some facilities will start to ramp up next week in order for most manufacturing to begin May 18, and that the automaker has been working with the supply base, including suppliers in Mexico, to support the restart date. 

"We've communicated our target restart date with our employees and other key stakeholders," a GM representative said in a statement. "We'll share more information publicly tomorrow morning as part of our first quarter financial results communication."

GM's first-quarter earnings coming Wednesday will show the full effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the automaker. GM's North American plants have been shutdown since mid-March to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Plants in China also were closed for weeks in the first quarter because of the pandemic.

On Tuesday, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said it plans to restart production May 18. Ford Motor Co. has not specified a restart date, but The Detroit News previously reported all three were coalescing around the same date.

The date falls after Michigan's stay-at-home order extension ends May 15. The current order doesn't explicitly call auto manufacturing critical during the coronavirus pandemic.