MEXICO CITY — Mexico on Thursday appeared to push back by two weeks the date when automotive plants can return to work after the coronavirus lockdown, creating confusion among companies about when they can restart supply chains that are tied to U.S. manufacturing.
The government on Wednesday had indicated the sector would start reopening on Monday, May 18, and published advice to that effect in a page in its official gazette.
The government later withdrew the page from the gazette without clarifying whether it would affect the dates of the restart. On Thursday, it published fresh instructions in the gazette indicating the industry would not reopen until June 1.
In a sign of the uncertainty General Motors said it could not currently say when it would restart Mexican operations.
One industry body representing auto suppliers said it would not adhere to the new date of June 1, and considered the previous May 18 restart date as having legal force.
“We will start to operate according…