The CEO of Linamar says the shutdown of automakers will have an effect on its operations, while at the same time the company hopes to shift its focus on manufacturing much-needed ventilators for the health care sector.
The federal government is working with manufacturers to boost production of medical equipment and supplies to handle the demand in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement emailed to GuelphToday on Friday, Linamar CEO Linda Hasenfratz said the company is actively investigating the feasibility of manufacturing ventilators, working with a variety of partners.
“Linamar is working closely with government, industry experts and other manufacturing companies to find a way to expedite expanding capacity for ventilators," said Hasenfratz. "It is a top priority for us at the moment and one we are highly focused on.”
In early March, Linamar established a task force to deal with COVID-19 and is now executing on an action plan.
“We are gathering information daily from our global operations, adjusting plans as required and communicating regularly to key stakeholders pertinent information,” said Hasenfratz. “We are keeping our employees safe, our customers supplied with their needs and mitigating the financial impact of the situation as best we can.”
Hasenfratz said each of its 61 facilities is developing its own plans based on customer demands, which could include potential layoffs.
“Any employees still working on site are following protocols established for safe work including distancing and frequent cleaning to ensure a safe work environment,” said Hasenfratz. “Employees requiring self-quarantine or self-isolation due to travel, illness or other reasons are being asked to do so.”
The company would not confirm any layoffs to date, but a tweet posted Thursday shows a notice for a total shutdown of its Corvex plant in Guelph, effective Friday.