Canadian auto supplier Magna International Inc. is planning for a return to production in North America on May 4, with a subsequent gradual increase in output as the industry recovers from the shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, a top executive said on Wednesday.
Most U.S. states have stay-at-home orders in place through the end of April, but many automakers and suppliers hope evidence of an easing in the COVID-19 infection rate will lead to a reopening of factories. President Donald Trump has expressed a desire to get Americans back to work soon.
"As we stand today, we have everything in place as if the plants are coming back on May 4," Magna President Swamy Kotagiri said in a telephone interview.
The auto industry has already reopened in China, where Magna has some plants back at 80 percent capacity, and is just now restarting operations in Europe. In the U.S., General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and other companies are waiting for the go-ahead from various governors but are aiming for an early May restart.