Ford to restart auto production in Europe

Major US-based auto producer Ford will begin a phased return to production outside of China beginning 4 May, Kallanish learns from the company. 

Ford operations in Germany, Spain and Romania will re-open on 4 May, while an additional Spanish operation will re-open on 18 May. Two operations in the United Kingdom do not yet have confirmed restart dates. 

Several financial publications, including the Wall Street Journal, had previously reported tentative 18 May restart dates for all three Big Three Detroit auto producers, though Ford has not yet confirmed any possible restart dates for the US. 

Ford’s shutdown in March forced the company into a $2 billion loss for the first quarter, and the absence of Detroit auto sheet demand has pressured many domestic steelmakers. 

Cleveland-Cliffs, which recently acquired legacy auto steel producer AK Steel, baked in auto shutdowns through June in its worst-case-scenario stress test for the company. In that scenario, hot-rolled prices bottomed near $480/short ton before rising to $525/st in the fourth quarter.