Nokian Tyres plc plans to reopen its Dayton, Tenn., factory on May 4, with some employees returning to the new plant on Monday, April 27.
"We are launching this phased reopening process after closely monitoring local and federal guidelines, and in light of recent actions taken by the State of Tennessee to begin reopening the state’s economy," say Nokian officials.
This marks the conclusion of a shutdown that began on March 27.
The plant, which opened last year, has the capacity to produce 2,800 consumer tires per day, according to MTD research.
"Nokian Tyres manufactures supplies that are vital to the transportation industry, which has been deemed essential by the state and federal governments. Given the importance of that industry and out of a desire to provide stability for our employees, we feel it is important to reopen the factory at this time.
"We would not reopen the factory unless we were confident we could do our part to provide a safe working environment for our team. Our employees’ safety is a top priority. To that end, we will continue taking aggressive steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 at the factory."
Measures include ensuring that every entrant undergoes temperature screening, enforcing social distancing policies, establishing dedicated entrances for each department and rotating lunches, eliminating factory-wide meetings, increasing cleansing and only allowing "business-critical visitors" onto the site.
"Safety is a core value of Nokian Tyres, and we intend to restart production in a manner that honors that principle and empowers our team to succeed."