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March 18, 2020

Honda to close US plants

Honda North America announced it would be closing four US vehicle plants starting 23 March due to an anticipated decline in market demand related to the coronavirus.

By Olly Wehring

Honda North America announced it would be closing four US vehicle plants starting 23 March due to an anticipated decline in market demand related to the coronavirus.

In a statement cited by cnbc.com, Honda said it would halt production for six days and planned to return at the end of the month.

The hiatus would reduce production by approximately 40,000 vehicles, the company told CNBC

"As the market impact of the fast changing COVID19 situation evolves, Honda will continue to evaluate conditions and make additional adjustments as necessary," the company said in the statement.

"In undertaking this production adjustment, Honda is continuing to manage its business carefully through a measured approach to sales that aligns production with market demand."

Around 27,600 Honda workers in North America would be affected by the temporary suspension of production but the company said it would continue full pay for all its 'associates'.

Honda said it would use the time to continue deep cleaning its production facilities and common areas to further protect workers upon their return to plants.

The hiatus would also enable working parents to adjust their lifestyles and determine how to manage the needs of children staying home, Honda told CNBC

The Honda factory closures came after the United Auto Workers (UAW) union reached a deal with Ford, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors on Tuesday that would partially shut down facilities in the US.

The actions were a compromise between the companies and the union after UAW president Rory Gamble on Sunday urged the automakers to cease production for two weeks due to the spread of the virus in the US, CNBC noted.

CNBC sait is was unclear how the union and automakers planned to implement the "rotating partial" shutdowns. The union said it expected "more detailed information to be released in the next 24 hours".

just-auto's daily automotive coronavirus briefing

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