Honda Motor Co. announced Wednesday local time that it will close all of its plants in North America for six days, according tomedia reports, in response to the economic impact of the new corona virus outbreak triggered by a decline in market expectations. Honda said the closure would affect the company’s roughly 276,000 employees in North America, who sit on payrolls.
In the six days, production at its 12 plants will be reduced to about 40,000 vehicles.
Honda said in a statement that the temporary shutdown will begin on March 23 and is scheduled to resume production on March 31, and that it will operate at its plants in Ohio, Indiana, Alabama, Canada and Mexico, as well as transmission and engine plants that serve its services.
In addition, Honda said it would use the time to conduct in-depth cleaning of production facilities and public areas.
Honda’s shutdown marks the first complete shutdown of u.S. automakers’ factories. Other automakers, such as Ford and General Motors, have also taken steps to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus, including staggered shifts, lunch, cleaning and disinfection areas. However, despite calls by the National Automobile Workers Union for closure, most factories remain open.
This may just be the beginning of plant closures, not just for Honda, but for the entire United States because local, state, and federal authorities will recommend or issue orders to close non-essential business activities.
Honda said it would continue to assess the situation and make further adjustments if necessary.