Mack Trucks, Volvo Trucks suspend production amid coronavirus battle

Mack Trucks, Volvo Trucks suspend production amid coronavirus battle

(This story was updated March 23)

Greensboro-based Mack Trucks has temporarily suspended production at its Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania plant to help protect employees from coronavirus, according to The Morning Call of Allentown. The plant employs 2,050 in two shifts. The temporary suspension, which began on March 19, will continue through March 27.

Industry publication Freightwaves has also published that Mack Trucks parent sister company Volvo Trucks North America, also headquartered in Greensboro, is idling production at its Dublin, Virginia manufacturing plant, also through March 27. Both Mack and Volvo Trucks are owned by Sweden-based Volvo Group.

Volvo and Mack make all heavy-duty tricks for the U.S., Canada and Mexico at the two plants.

The suspension will have minimal overall impact on Mack’s production as the company was in the midst of two down weeks that had been previously scheduled because of reduced demand for heavy-duty trucks. The operations that were underway had also been previously scheduled to be suspended this week.

“Although we have no reason to believe we have any cases of COVID-19 in the plant, we have decided to temporarily suspend production as part of the effort to slow the spread of the virus in our communities,” Mack spokesman Christopher Heffner told the Morning Call.

Ford Motor Co. General Motors and Fiat Chrysler had all closed U.S. plants for 14 days the day prior to Mack’s decision to suspend all operations. Heffner told the newspaper the suspension will provide the company with the opportunity to research new production methods to add measures of safety in addition to the efforts that were already in place.

“The health and safety of our employees and communities will be our primary concern as we work to make the most informed decisions we can during this uncertain time,” Heffner said.

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