Good afternoon, .

Earlier this afternoon, global automotive manufacturers took bold measures necessary to combat the growing global crisis surrounding COVID-19, the coronavirus. FCA, Ford and General Motors announced the temporary and precautionary closure of all facilities, until March 30, in order to do deep cleaning and to get plans in place for a return to production that incorporates best practices for preventing the spread of the virus.

This extraordinary step is a clear example of how you, our members, and your peers in the industry are standing on the front lines in defense against a new threat affecting every individual, business and community in the world.

I firmly believe continued operation of manufacturing will be the key to successfully addressing the challenges facing this state and nation. The challenges involve the health and safety of our families, and the state’s economic stability.  Manufacturers produce the essential products to deliver solutions on both goals.

You and your employees are creating essential products in every sector from personal protective equipment for the health care industry to chemicals, cleaning products, transportation and food. We have all seen the heightened demand for many products such as toilet paper, bottled water, milk, gloves, hand sanitizer, masks and gowns. Hospitals are now struggling to locate medical equipment, respirators and critical care technologies. These essentials are available because of your work.

If even a portion of the supply chain is disrupted, the state and the country would face debilitating effects on public health and safety while facing an insufficient capacity to provide adequate care for those patients who are most in need.

MMA remains in constant communication and will continue to work in close coordination with Governor Whitmer’s administration, legislative leadership and all agencies involved with mitigating the public health and economic impact of COVID-19 and I want to thank them all for keeping us engaged, informed and part of the strategic solution.  Our message to public officials — allow manufacturers to help drive the solution.

Today, the Governor asked the MMA to help find companies that can produce specific products, including personal protective equipment, to enhance the effectiveness of the health care system’s response. We are fully engaged.

Mike Johnston, MMA vice president of government affairs, will take point on this effort. Please watch for more information. In the meantime, he can be reached at 517-487-8554 or johnston@mimfg.org.

Please be sure to access information available on MMA’s COVID-19 Resources page.

Thank you for all you doing to drive Michigan forward.