FCA and Honda will extend their plant closures in the United States until May due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The moves follow similar decisions throughout the industry. Of course, it's difficult to predict the future effects of this disease, so there could be even more delays in restarting vehicle production.
Honda intends to re-open its facilities in the United States and Canada on May 1. The decision includes the plant in South Carolina that produces powersports products. In its statement, the company said that another reason for the extended closure is the lack of demand for its automobiles, ATVs, and side-by-side vehicles. Stay-at-home orders prevent people from going out and buying them.
Gallery: 2019 Honda Passport: Alabama Factory
FCA intends to re-open its factories progressively starting on May 4, so all of them might not start running again at the same time. The automaker is also redesigning work stations in the plants for greater distancing between workers, and it is expanding cleaning protocols, according to the company's statement.
Rather than announcing dates for planned reopenings, Ford and General Motors are keeping their sites closed indefinitely in the United States, Automotive News reports. In Europe, the Blue Oval intends to get things going again on May 4.
The COVID-19 pandemic has already had sweeping effects on the auto industry. For example, FCA has postponed the introductions of the Ram 1500 Rebel TRX sport truck and next-gen Jeep Cherokee. GM has delayed updates to a variety of vehicles, including the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. In addition, multiple international auto shows and major events have been postponed or completely canceled.
Statement Regarding Production Suspensions at Honda Plants in U.S. and Canada
April 6, 2020
As the unprecedented economic impact of the fast-changing COVID-19 pandemic worsens, Honda continues to evaluate conditions and make temporary adjustments to its production operations in the U.S. and Canada.
In addition to the impact of COVID-19 on the marketplace, stay-at-home orders in many cities and states prevent consumers in a number of markets from purchasing new vehicles. As a result, Honda must continue to suspend production in order to align product supply with a lack of market demand.
The following actions are in response to the continued steep decline in sales across the automobile and powersports industries:
Honda is extending the production suspension previously announced for all of its automobile, engine and transmission plants in the U.S. and Canada through May 1. Honda began its automobile production suspension on March 23.
Honda of South Carolina Mfg., Inc. (HSC), which produces powersports products including ATVs and side-by-side vehicles, is extending the production suspension through May 1. HSC originally suspended its production on March 26.
Due to the fast-changing nature of this situation, we will continue to provide updates on our business impacts and actions on Hondanews.com.
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Response to Query: FCA Plans to Restart U.S. and Canadian Operations
FCA continues to make the health and well-being of its employees a top priority. With that in mind, FCA intends to progressively restart its U.S. and Canadian manufacturing facilities beginning May 4. The status of production at FCA’s Mexico operations will be the subject of a separate announcement.
During this current production pause, we are working with government officials and our unions to implement new procedures to certify the daily wellness of our workforce while also redesigning work stations to maintain proper social distancing and expanding the already extensive cleaning protocols at all locations. As a result of these actions, we will only restart operations with safe, secure and sanitized workplaces to protect all of our employees.