By Nick Carey and Paul Lienert
(Reuters) – A senior General Motors Co <GM.N> executive said on Friday the No. 1 U.S. automaker and its suppliers need to avoid letting their guard down as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, adding that he is constantly worried about the human suffering and economic hardships wrought by the pandemic.
“I just worry about everybody, I really do,” GM President Mark Reuss told a Reuters Events broadcast. “I worry about that every day and every night.
“I’m so worried about it because it’s accelerating and it’s not being contained.”
The coronavirus pandemic forced major U.S. automakers to shutter their plants for nearly two months in the spring to slow the spread of cases.
Detroit’s automakers and the United Auto Workers union hammered out work practices that have for the most part kept the pandemic from slowing production since then.
“I think the industry in general and General Motors has done a good job in our plants,” Reuss said. “But I really worry about people, the death, the suffering and the unemployment that goes along with this pandemic.”
Reuss praised the automaker’s supplier base for their diligence in keeping to new standards set during the pandemic to keep it from affecting production.
“But I worry that in places that are very different from the United States, Canada or Mexico, that a relaxation of some of these (practices) would hurt the supply chain and have us not be able to run our plants,” he said. “I know everybody is doing the best they can but we have to keep that up.”
(Reporting by Nick Carey; Editing by Dan Grebler)