Prepare to Launch: Magna aims to restart North American production May 4

Toronto, Ontario ⁠— Canadian auto supplier Magna International is aiming to relaunch operations at its North American facilities on May 4, says company president Swamy Kotagiri.

The Aurora, Ont.-based supplier hopes to send its staff back to work on May 4, with a subsequent gradual increase in output as the industry recovers from shutdowns caused by the pandemic.

“As we stand today, we have everything in place as if the plants are coming back on May 4,” said Kotagiri.

However, Kotagiri, who was promoted to president in January, also said the company is prepared to face further delays⁠. After all, there is “no written playbook” for the pandemic, he said.

“The most important thing is, how can we as an industry coordinate and minimize the start-stops?” he said. “If someone comes and says, ‘It’s not May 4, it’s May 10,’ that’s okay. It’s easy to deal with. But if somebody comes and says to start on May 4 and we stop again on May 12, that’s a bigger problem.”

Magna is planning heavily for the restart and has drawn up a nearly 60-page ‘Smart Start Playbook’ to ease the transition, outlining best practices, disinfection guidelines, PPE usage and treating infected employees.

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