If March 12 was the day when coronavirus cancellations became "normal," then perhaps March 18 was the day that a wider shutdown involving business really came into focus.
For the Plastics News staff, it's been a hectic few days as we touch base with companies to find how they're handling the demands of the crises to both continue serving customers while also keeping their employees healthy.
And that is all about to get much more complicated as the "Detroit Three" automakers — Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles — announced an agreement with the United Auto Workers to halt production until the end of March. "In these unprecedented times, we're exploring unique and creative solutions to support our workforce, customers, dealers, suppliers and communities," Kumar Galhotra, Ford's president of North America, said in a statement.
That move will obviously ripple out to their suppliers and their suppliers' suppliers.
A two-week shutdown isn't out of the ordinary in the U.S. auto industry, of course. Automakers typically close at the end of July each year to retool assembly lines for new products. But this isn't July, and no one was planning for this.
What happens next? We don't know, but we'll let you know what we find out.