Most automotive manufacturers cannot produce new cars like they used to. With social distancing restrictions, many have had to lower the number of employees that are in the plant at the same time, and they simply can’t keep up with normal production with a reduced work force.
Even with car manufacturers producing again, it is possible that another outbreak of the COVID-19 virus could disrupt production again. A single supplier of needed parts that has to shut down could cause widespread disruption in production across the country. Also, many automakers stopped producing vehicles and made essential medical equipment, such as ventilators, respirators, and face shields. Some manufacturers are still making the medical equipment instead of vehicles. When the medical equipment is no longer needed, it will take time to get the plants ready to produce cars again.
Supply issues have also been an issue to getting car production back up to full speed. Manufacturers no longer stockpile needed components for their vehicles so they simply don’t have everything they need to start building cars again. They have to wait until parts are shipped, often from out of the country. With concerns about receiving parts from China still very high, many parts are sitting in warehouses until they are deemed “safe” for employees to handle.
Chevrolet, Ford, and Lincoln all canceled or postponed the delivery of new models. Even when production is back up to normal, design and testing facilities are still minimally staffed so it may take several months for new models of cars to be available to the public.