General Motors has extended its plant shutdown in Brazil by 60 days as the coronavirus pandemic continues to worsen globally.
The automaker first closed its Brazilian manufacturing facilities down on March 30th, with a source telling Reuters at the time that they expected the shutdown to last until April 12th. But with the coronavirus situation in Brazil getting worse in recent weeks, the company has now said the plants will remain closed for at least another 60 days.
Reuters has also viewed a document sent to GM’s Brazilian workers that indicates the automaker is prepared to extend the shutdown by an additional 30 days on top of the current 60-day extension should it be necessary. Brazil has more coronavirus cases than any other country in Latin America, with over 17,000 confirmed cases as of this writing.
In March, GM said the production shutdown was necessary to “align production to market demands,” in Brazil. GM builds Brazil’s best-selling car, the Chevrolet Onix, at its Rio Grande do Sul plant in the southern part of the country.
GM is paying its Brazilian workers in full during the coronavirus shut down, as per Brazilian labor law, but has forced them to use up their vacation days while off work in recent weeks, Reuters reports.
The automaker’s U.S. and Canadian plants also remain shut down due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with no indication as to when they may come back online. The automaker is currently operating two manufacturing plants in the U.S., although they aren’t building cars, but rather medical face masks and ventilator machines.