Ford is pausing production at its plants in Turkey for two weeks in response to the growing coronavirus epidemic, the company said.
Ford, which runs a joint venture with partner Otosan in Turkey, will shut its production lines for the Transit Custom midsize van at its Golcuk plant on Thursday, while production lines for the Transit full-size van at the Golcuk plant and nearby Yenikoy plant will stop on March 21, the company said in a statement.
Ford will also halt production of full-size trucks and engines at its Eskisehir plant for the same period, the company said.
The decision was made “in line with the measures announced by the Ministry of Health for occupational and public health,” Ford Otosan said in a statement.
Ford’s Transit range has been a consistent source of strong profits for the company’s European division in recent years. All Ford vans sold in Europe bar the compact Transit Connect are built in Turkey.
Ford has already shut down production at plants in continental Europe in reaction to the coronavirus for an unspecified amount of time. Ford’s UK engine plants in Bridgend and Dagenham are so far the only plants where production has not been suspended.
So far, only Ford and Toyota have announced the suspension of production in Turkey, which last year built 1.46 million cars and commercial vehicles, according to data from the international Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers.
Toyota said it was shutting down its factory in Sakarya province from March 21 and April 5 as part of a wider pause in production across Europe. It builds the C-HR compact SUV there.
Companies yet to announce production pauses include Oyak Renault; Fiat’s joint venture company, Tofas; Honda; and Hyundai.
Fiat builds the Tipo compact in Turkey, while Renault builds the Clio small car, Honda makes the Civic sedan compact and Hyundai builds the i10 minicar and i20 small car.
Fiat, Renault and Hyundai mainly build cars for export into Europe.