New Holland tractors have begun to roll off the production line at Basildon again as the plant re-opened after a five-week closure to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Parent company CNH Industrial said about 400 staff returned to the line on Tuesday (5 May) with strict social-distancing measures in place and additional protective equipment being provided.
Production will not be at full capacity, with the remaining 600 personnel that occupy the 40ha site, many of them office staff, continuing to work remotely.
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The move is part of a Europe-wide return to work CNH, with the Basildon factory alone relying on parts being produced and shipped from Italy, Belgium and France to be assembled at the 40ha Essex plant.
The 56-year-old factory has produced more than 1.6m tractors and 3.1m engines since it opened.
CNH said more than two-thirds of its 67 factories worldwide are now operational, with plans to be back to full production by the end of the month.
It makes a range of agricultural, commercial and construction equipment under the New Holland, Case, Iveco and Steyr brands, among others.
Work to resume operations at JCB, the UK’s only other tractor production facility, is also understood to be in progress.