00:02 GMT01 April 2020
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    The coronavirus pandemic which is sweeping across the world, and is now plaguing the European Union and the United States, has led to a significant economic downturn and car manufacturers have announced that they will be closing down factories and suspending production.

    The Alameda County Sheriff's office launched criticism at Tesla on Tuesday for not following an order for businesses in the county to "cease all activities at facilities located within the County except Minimum Basic Operations".

    The Tesla factory is participating in the county-wide lockdown. But while Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a Monday evening email that employees could stay home from work if they felt sick, he also declared that he would "personally be at work" on Tuesday.

    With the "shelter in place" order, which was implemented beginning on Monday, seven Bay Area counties have prohibited people from leaving their homes except for essential activities like visiting the doctor or grocery shopping.

    The Fremont factory is Tesla's only significant auto manufacturing facility outside of China and has been rolling out thousands of Model 3 vehicles on a weekly basis and more recently the Model Y crossover as well.

    Tesla's stock plunged following news that the carmaker would be forced to close its Fremont factory. Tesla's stock is currently down over 11 percent at $380, a depreciation from a high of above $900, which it reached in February prior to when the economic consequences of the coronavirus outbreak began to kick in.

    Musk's company was not the only auto manufacturer to be hit. Ford's stock fell 12 percent and GM's stock has dropped 21 percent since Tuesday's close.

    Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler, and Ford have all announced their plans to close their European factories in response to the pandemic.

    Toyota intends to shut down factories in both Europe and Asia while Honda will be halting production in its North American facilities on Wednesday.

    American automakers hope to keep factories running in the United States. Detroit's Big Three automakers reported that they had entered into provisional deals with the United Auto Workers so that manufacturing can continue.

    Carmakers will reduce operating hours in order to facilitate deep cleaning of lines between shifts and will be taking measures to increase the physical distance between individual workers.

    Tags:
    COVID-19, coronavirus, Elon Musk, Tesla
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