Industry Edges Toward Reopenings

Most plans call for production to resume in early to mid-May

This file photo shows Rickey Lane working at General Motors Spring Hill Assembly in Tennessee.

The rapidly changing news of when Southern automakers might restart their plants continued to evolve this week, along with thoughts on how everyone involved could work as safely as possible.

Industry guidelines distributed by state automotive associations called for workers to have masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and face shields whenever possible. The recommendations also included staggering shifts, lunchroom visits and spacing out work stations.

Volkswagen said it would restart its Tennessee plant May 3, while Mercedes-Benz stuck with a plan to ramp toward production Monday in Alabama.

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General Motors has been mum but industry chatter seemed to indicate a restart around May 4.

Here’s an updated look around the South, culled from websites and news reports:


Hyundai Montgomery, May 4

Honda Lincoln, May 8

Toyota Huntsville, May 4

Mercedes-Benz Vance, April 27


Kia West Point, May 4


Toyota Georgetown, May 4

Ford Truck Louisville, No date

Ford Louisville, No date

GM Bowling Green, No date


Toyota Blue Springs, May 4

Nissan Canton, mid-May

South Carolina

BMW Spartanburg, May 4

Mercedes-Benz Charleston, April 27

Volvo Ridgeville, May 11


Nissan Smyrna, mid-May

Nissan Decherd, mid-May

VW Chattanooga, May 3

GM Spring Hill, No date


Toyota San Antonio, May 4

GM Arlington, No date

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