Detroit automakers look to restart N. America plants May 18

Michigan

FILE – In this Feb. 26, 2019 file photo, Jeep vehicles are parked outside the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit. Major U.S. automakers are planning to reopen North American factories within two weeks, potentially putting thousands of workers back on the assembly line, as part of a gradual return to normality. Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley said Tuesday, May 5, 2020, his company plans to start reopening factories May 18 depending on easing of government restrictions. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

DETROIT (AP) – Major U.S. automakers are planning to reopen North American factories in the next two weeks in a gradual return to normal after closures due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley said Tuesday his company plans to start reopening factories May 18 depending on easing of government restrictions.

His Detroit competitors likely will follow the same timetable since their workers are represented by the same union.Detroit automakers employ about 150,000 factory workers in the United States alone.

They announced March 18 that factories would temporarily close to protect workers from the virus.

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