GM Brazil says the plant restart will be gradual and only includes one shift of employees at this time, with the remaining shifts to return in the coming weeks.
The company also said it has developed “a strict security protocol that aims to keep the new coronavirus out of its facilities; prevent the spread of the virus within the company; and effectively manage suspected or confirmed cases.”
The new safety protocols include giving employees a digital health questionnaire, measurement of employee body temperatures at company entrances, social distancing in workspaces and employee common areas, frequent cleaning of interior surfaces, use of face masks and other PPE and “constant monitoring of suspected cases,” by its internal medical service.
GM Brazil says these protocols were put in place using GM’s research and knowledge – much of which it gained from addressing the COVID-19 pandemic at its plants in China and South Korea.
“Even before we stopped our production, a multifunctional team started working on this new security protocol,” said Luiz Perez, vice president of manufacturing for GM South America. “It is based on GM’s global guidelines and lessons learned from our operations that have already resumed in China and South Korea, and has been tested by teams in factories repairing respirators. For this reason, we are very sure that the measures taken are effective and that we are offering the best work environment for our employees.”
GM recently upgraded its São Caetano do Sul plant to produce several next-generation models, including the new Chevrolet Tracker crossover for South America. The plant was GM’s first in Brazil and has produced a number of different models over the years, including the Chevrolet Cobalt, Chevrolet Montana and Chevrolet Spin, among more.
Some of GM’s North American plants also came back online starting this week, while others will start back up the week of May 26th. The automaker said previously that it expects to be back running at full production capacity by mid-June.