Image credits: Nissan México
News Article

Nissan Resumes Production; Lear Faces New Normal

By Alejandro Enríquez | Mon, 06/01/2020 - 11:20

Nissan Reopens Production
After two months of suspended operations, Nissan México became the first branch of the Japanese automaker in North America to resume operations today. "I am very proud of the excitement and commitment of our collaborators. The level of excellence that characterizes our vehicle production is now being reflected in the effort, actions and teamwork during this contingency," said Armando Ávila, Manufacturing Vice President of Nissan México.

Nissan México is currently the country's second largest vehicle producer and third exporter. The company's operations were suspended since March 25 due to the lockdown measures taken to prevent COVID-19 contagions. The company has three manufacturing facilities and a R&D center in the country. Nissan resumed operations after all safety and inspection protocols required by the federal authorities were approved and certified. Nissan México reaffirmed its position as the reference manufacturing operation location for the corporation at the global level in terms of safety and preventive measures, reported the company on a statement.

"At Nissan, safety and well-being remains at the center of what we do. Consequently, we have taken all necessary measures to protect of our collaborators from the very beginning," said Ávila.

México is part of the North America "reference region" for the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance where Nissan is going to take the lead given the company’s leadership in the market and its manufacturing footprint. Read more about the alliance here.

GM to Increase Production

Reuters reported that GM would start increasing its production levels in North Americas today following increasing demand. The company confirmed that three of the company's facilities will work under two shifts, while other three US assembly plants will work according to a three-shift production plan. 

In Mexico, the company has four manufacturing facilities in San Luis Potosi, Silao, Ramos Arizpe and Toluca, which resumed operations between May 21 and May 22.

Lear's Workers Afraid to Resume Operations

"I do not think you will find anyone who says they are not scared," told Alma Sonia Trevizo, Lear's employee at the Rio Bravo plant, to Reuters. The facility, in charge of manufacturing seat covers for Ford and Mercedes-Benz faced one of the deadliest COVID-19 outbreaks leading to the death of 20 factory workers. 

Lear has 42 manufacturing plants in Mexico, employing around 56,000 people. As other manufacturing facilities in the country, Lear underwent a validation and certification process for the health and safety protocols enabled at their plants. Sergio Corral, Rio Bravo's Plant Manager, told Reuters productivity could drop between 30 and 40 percent due to all the safety measures taken.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Nissan Mexico, Reuters
Photo by:   Nissan México
Alejandro Enríquez Alejandro Enríquez Journalist and Industry Analyst