This Morning in Metals: Ford delays planned restart of North American plants

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Björn Wylezich/Adobe Stock

This morning in metals news, Ford Motor Co. announced it would delay the planned restart of its North American operations, General Motors reported first-quarter sales and Allegheny Technologies Inc. (ATI) cited Section 232 tariffs in its decision to shutter its Midland, Pennsylvania operations.

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Ford to delay restart

Last month, Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler announced they would temporarily suspend production at their North American plants amid the coronavirus outbreak.

However, on Tuesday Ford said its planned restart won’t be taking place on the schedule as previously announced.

“Ford is delaying the restart of production at its North America plants to help protect its workers,” Ford said in a statement. “The company had been aiming to restart production April 6 at Hermosillo Assembly Plant and April 14 at several key U.S. plants – and now has further postponed startup dates, which will be announced later.”

GM sales down 7% in first quarter

GM said its first-quarter U.S. sales fell 7% compared with Q1 2019.

GM delivered 618,335 vehicles in the first quarter.

“In this uncertain and challenging time, GM and our strong network of dealers are here to help, offering concierge service, providing courtesy transportation to customers in need and offering home delivery where permissible,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of sales operations.

ATI cites Section 232 tariffs in decision to close Midland operations

ATI on Wednesday said it will close its 50% owned A&T Stainless joint venture by June 2020 “due to Section 232 tariffs that make the business unsustainable.”

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“A&T Stainless imports semi-finished stainless slab products from Indonesia to produce 60-inch wide stainless sheet products,” the company said. “Subject to the 25% tariff levied on all stainless steel products imported into the United States under Section 232, since March 2018, A&T Stainless has paid over $37 million in tariffs. ATI’s 2019 financial results included $19.3 million of losses for its share of A&T Stainless results, which included an impairment charge for the Midland facility as well as a $4.3 million reserve based on ATI’s share of the estimated fair value of the joint venture’s net assets.”

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