UPDATE: April 7, 2020: A Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) spokesman told Transport Dive late Monday night that it is experiencing supply disruptions due to COVID-19 that will soon impact its production operations. DTNA said it limited operations at several facilities in North America on Monday, until a planned return to production on April 20 in the U.S. and Mexico. Manufacturing plants limiting production this week include the Mount Holly Truck Plant in North Carolina; the Cleveland Truck Plant in North Carolina; the Gaffney Truck Plant in South Carolina; the Portland Truck Plant in Oregon; and the Saltillo Truck Plant and Santiago Truck Plant in Mexico.
- Some manufacturers that suspended production in March, including Paccar and Mack, have extended the downtime amid reports that COVID-19 had not yet peaked in the United States.
- Goodyear confirmed to Transport Dive on Friday that it is temporarily suspending all manufacturing at plants in the Americas until further notice, although truck care centers will remain open for inspections.
- On Friday, engine-maker Cummins said it would cut hours and reduce corporate salaries for the time being. "The impact from the pandemic on the global economy has been sudden and is growing, and it is imperative for us to respond quickly to maintain our strong financial position," said Tom Linebarger, Cummins CEO, in a news statement.
With the White House now saying it doesn't see social distancing practices ending until April 30, with a peak in cases coming this week, OEMs will be under pressure to idle or slow production. But there are other influences upon OEMs and suppliers: market forces. Goodyear said in its email to Transport Dive on Friday that shrinking GDP and payrolls are also a consideration.
Connie Deibel, Goodyear spokesperson, said a decline in market demand resulting from the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the Americas region led Goodyear to extend the temporary suspension of operations at all Americas manufacturing plants.
"We are closely monitoring market demand signals, inventory and supply levels, and warehouse and distribution operations to continue delivery of Goodyear products," Deibel said.
Goodyear's and Cummins' announcements follow other manufacturers.
Goodyear competitor Bridgestone temporarily shut down manufacturing plants in North America and Latin America from March 21 until April 12.
Paccar, Navistar, Volvo Group and Volvo subsidiary Mack Trucks have had temporary shutdowns because of the coronavirus. Some have extended their initial shutdowns.
Christopher Heffner, Mack spokesman, told Transport Dive in an email that the company's Lehigh Valley operations in Pennsylvania were suspended March 19 and will remain so through April 17. The initial plan was to reopen March 27. Paccar said on Wednesday that it would extend idling from Monday to April 20.
Some OEMs could reopen today. Daimler Trucks said it would shut its Oregon plant down from March 25 until April 6, according to The Oregonian. Daimler Trucks has not returned a message from Transport Dive about restarting production.