The novel, which causes , has led to mass production disruptions across Europe, but Honda has become the first automaker to declare a stoppage in North America.
On Wednesday, the Japanese automaker announced it will adjust production schedules starting today at all of its North American facilities — the US included. Plants affected include vehicle production plants in Ohio, Illinois, Alabama and Indiana. Transmission and engines plants are also part of the production suspension.
The move to stop production comes as Honda works to carefully manage production levels with faltering demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic. For now, the automaker said it plans to reopen all sites in a week, and while workers are home, every single facility will undergo a major deep clean and disinfection process.
Honda’s announcement means some 27,600 workers will be off the job, but the company plans to pay every worker across North America their full wages during the stoppage. The time will also give workers time to help their families adjust as social distancing becomes a new normal in so many communities, Honda added.
No other automaker doing business in the US has announced such a sweeping production suspension, though Ford confirmed with Roadshow on Wednesday a supplier issue forced a temporary shutdown at its plant in Chicago. The facility builds the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator.
In Europe, over 10 automakers announcedfor two weeks, or indefinitely amid the pandemic.