General Motors vehicle production in Brazil will continue amid a recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in the country.
In a statement, GM Brazil said the COVID-19 safety protocols it has put in place at its various vehicle production plants are adequate enough to keep workers safe amid the pandemic.
“Our protocols have been shown to be efficient at preventing infection and internal surveys show that our workers feel safer in factories than they do in their own houses and communities,” the automaker said. “As a result, we do not see any reason that would lead us to alter our production schedule at this moment.”
A union representative at GM’s Gravataí plant in Rio Grande do Sul told Reuters that workers there had no qualms about GM’s COVID-19 safety protocols thus far or how it’s handled the COVID-19 pandemic. The South American country has recorded some of the highest COVID-19 related daily death tolls of any country in recent weeks.
Numerous automakers paused vehicle production at their Brazilian facilities this week for health reasons, including Volkswagen and Volvo. Volvo its decision to pause Brazilian production was also related to the ongoing global semi-conductor chip shortage, which has hampered vehicle production output across the globe in recent months.
GM previously suspended production at its Gravataí plant due to the chip shortage, which is expected to remain closed until June. The plant builds the Chevrolet Onix compact car – one of Brazil’s best-selling vehicles and one of the most popular cars in all of South America.
“The automotive industry supply chain in South America has been impacted by production stops during the pandemic and by the faster-than-expected market recovery,” the automaker said in a statement released this week. “This is temporarily affecting our production schedule at the Gravataí plant. Production at this unit will be interrupted in April and May, and possibly June, returning to regular production volume in July.”