After three continuous months of inactivity, General Motors South America announced that next Monday, June 29th, the Alvear plant located in the province of Santa Fe in Argentina will reopen. The industrial complex will resume production under strict safety and hygiene standards, following the company’s global protocols and the requirements of the authorities to protect the integrity of employees and suppliers.
The Alvear plant, which closed its doors in mid-March due to the local outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, becomes the second GM factory to announce the resumption of its activities in South America. The company’s first production facility that reopened its doors in the region was the São Caetano do Sul plant in Brazil, which restarted vehicle production on May 18.
“The health and safety of our employees and collaborators is our priority and we will be training all the personnel that enter our industrial complex to guarantee the resumption of our production,” said Vice President of GM South America, Federico Ovejero, in a statement. “The COVID-19 pandemic challenged the health and work of all Argentines. It is an important step to return to work safely and responsibly because we understand that during this crisis, it’s important to take care of our families first and foremost,” he added.
Among the precautionary measures that will be adopted in the plant are a body temperature control in all instances, self-declaration forms of health state, physical distancing protocols on assembly lines and rest areas, PPE for all personnel, disinfection and cleaning of common spaces, workstations and equipment, as well as a rigorous daily disinfection program for the plant.
GM announced that the production restart at the Alvear plant will take place gradually, with an initial single work shift in each of the areas of the complex. The only vehicle that is currently produced in this facility is the Chevrolet Cruze in its two body variants, whose units are destined for the Argentine market and mainly for export markets such as Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
In addition, the Ecotec 1.4L LE2 I4 engine that equips the compact Chevy is also manufactured in the Alvear complex. This operation is performed in a dedicated powertrain facility that opened in 2016 as part of the comprehensive overhaul that the Argentine plant received to manufacture the second-generation Cruze.