Ford Motor Co is postponing its plan to restart production at its North America plants due to safety concerns for its workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The automaker had said last week it was poised to restart production at some plants in North America as early as April 6, bringing back such profitable vehicles like the F-150 full-sized pickup, the Transit commercial van and SUVs.

But on Tuesday, Ford said that although it had been aiming to resume production at several key U.S. plants on April 14, it would now do so at dates to be announced later on.

“The health and safety of our workforce, dealers, customers, partners and communities remains our highest priority,” Kumar Galhotra, president of Ford’s North American operations, said in a statement.

Still, the automaker will open a plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, during the week of April 20, that will make ventilators to treat patients afflicted by the coronavirus.

“Today’s decision by Ford is the right decision for our members, their families and our nation,” UAW President Rory Gamble said in a statement.

© 2022 First XV. All rights reserved.