Today’s Pickup: Ford reopens two facilities, twice in the same week over COVID-19 scare

Ford reopens two facilities, twice in the same week over COVID-19 scare (Photo: Ford Motor Company)

Good day,

Ford facilities at Dearborn and Chicago have reopened after closing earlier this week due to a few employees testing positive for COVID-19 on-site. The company said in its statement that the work areas, equipment, team areas, and the pathways were ‘deep-cleaned and disinfected.’

The erratic closing and opening of manufacturing and logistics facilities show the difficulty of running operations that require hundreds of personnel to work in close proximity to each other. As the virus continues to spread at a steady pace across the U.S., such instances of infected workers might be a common occurrence for at least a few more weeks. 

Did you know?

JPMorgan forecasts gross domestic product in the U.S. to fall at an annualized rate of 40% in the three months through June, the Eurozone to tumble by 45%, with the U.K. economy expected to contract by 56.7% and Japan by 35%.


“There is no single measure that will reduce risk and enable a safe restart of flying. But layering measures that are globally implemented and mutually recognized by governments can achieve the needed outcome. This is the greatest crisis that aviation has ever faced.”

– Alexandre de Juniac, International Air Transport Association (IATA) Director General and CEO, while commenting on the need for nations to come together for saving the aviation industry from bankruptcy.

In other news

Target gains strength during coronavirus

Comparable sales rose 10.8% in latest quarter, with digital sales up 141%. (WSJ)

Tesla installs more production robots at Fremont factory

Due to the shelter-in-place order in the Bay Area, Tesla had to shut down its Fremont factory for about a month and a half before restarting production last week. (Electrek)

GM says it is ‘almost there’ on million-mile electric vehicle battery

The automaker also is working on next-generation batteries even more advanced than the new Ultium battery that it unveiled in March, according to GM Executive Vice President Doug Parks. (Reuters)

Columbus hyperloop would be ‘physically feasible,’ new study finds

MORPC’s study determined whether existing roadways and rail corridors could be used for a route, instead of purchasing track from landowners. (WOSU)

FedEx teams with Microsoft for a revolution, but is it just playing catch-up?

This week, FedEx and Microsoft announced a multi-year collaboration, combining the global digital and logistics network of the integrator with the tech firm’s intelligent cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. (The Loadstar)

Final Thoughts

Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners (CLPC), an economic development initiative, has rolled out a fleet of electric scooters that can automatically drive to the users’ locations and return to their charging station after the user finishes the ride. If made commercial, the technology can improve customer experience, while also helping cities keep their public spaces free from an avalanche of e-scooters. 

E-scooter companies could see this as a thoughtful addition to their fleet. However, it is also essential to understand the practical feasibility of such technology. E-scooters are generally roughly handled by their users, which causes them to break down frequently. Hardware for autonomous driving technology is expensive, and fitting them on e-scooters could make them an easy target for vandals. 

Hammer down everyone!