Manufacturing to Re-open May 11, Allowing for Sequenced Automotive Restart

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Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an Executive Order extending her “Stay Home Stay Safe” order until May 28. The order also allows Michigan’s manufacturing sector, including the automotive industry and Michigan’s Big 3, to open in phases starting on Monday, May 11.

That Monday is five business days prior to the set May 18th ramp-up date for the automotive industry’s Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). This timing marks an important sequenced startup that MICHauto and the Chamber advocated for to ensure the supply chain can efficiently resume final vehicle assembly in Michigan.

“MICHauto and the Detroit Regional Chamber applaud the Governor for her continued steps to safely re-open our economy.  Automotive and manufacturing is not only the backbone of our regional and state economy, it is essential to the functioning of the global supply chain.  This is good news for Michigan and the nation,” said Glenn Stevens Jr., executive director of MICHauto, and vice president of Automotive and Mobility Initiatives for the Chamber.

Earlier this week, MICHauto sent a letter to the Governor advocating for a minimum five-day period for suppliers to restart prior to OEMs so that they could start shipping parts needed for OEM production to commence efficiently.

“Unlike their OEM counterparts, many firms that comprise the automotive supply chain lack the vast resources to make the necessary production, process, and policy changes required to adapt to the new environment in short order. These firms will need additional time to make their workplaces safe for employees and positioned to ship product allowing OEMs to restart,” Stevens wrote.

Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah, also pressed the manufacturing issue to Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II during the Chamber’s Tele-Town Hall on Tuesday.

Under Executive Order, manufacturing facilities must adopt measures to protect their workers from the spread of COVID-19.

Manufacturing facilities must also train workers on, among other things, how COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person, signs and symptoms of COVID-19, steps workers must take to notify the business or operation of signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or suspected or confirmed diagnosis, and the use of personal protective equipment.

All businesses in the state—including manufacturers—must require masks to be worn when workers cannot consistently maintain six feet of separation from others, and consider face shields for those who cannot consistently maintain three feet of separation from other workers.

Today also marked the date when construction activities were permitted to re-open, reflecting a phased re-opening consistent with the Detroit Regional Chamber’s point of view on restarting Michigan’s economy.

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