By Dave Taylor
Quite possibly the largest economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was announced Wednesday afternoon when Aleris released its plan to temporarily shut down production at the Lewisport mill.
In what the company is calling a response to “our major automotive customers announcing temporary production shutdowns, coupled with uncertainty in other markets” it’s suspending production at Lewisport for at least two weeks beginning on Monday, March 30.
Company spokesman Jason Saragian said the shutdown will last two weeks “or until we have worked through the full extent of COVID-19’s impact on our customers.”
Those customers for the aluminum auto body sheet are car manufacturers, many of whom have announced their own temporary shutdowns.
The target date for restarting production is April 13.
“We are doing what we can for all who are affected by this, and want to get everyone back to work quickly,” Saragian wrote. “These are very dedicated and committed employees, and we will remain in close contact with our automotive customers in the coming days so that we can ensure we are back up and running at Lewisport as soon as possible.”