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Honda Extends Shutdown Again

April 23, 2020
The automaker's North American operations now will remain idle through May 8, as Honda waits for consumer demand to spark an end to its COVID-19 closings.

Honda Motor Co. added another week to the shutdown of its North American auto plants, now through May 8, which will mean an outage of at least seven weeks. The closings began as part of the voluntary efforts to minimize social contacts in order to control the spread of the novel coronavirus.

"In addition to the impact of COVID-19 on the marketplace, stay-at-home orders remain in many cities and states, impeding the ability of consumers to purchase new vehicles," the manufacturer stated. "As a result, Honda must continue to take steps that align product supply and business expenses with market demand."

The weak consumer demand is a complicating factor for Honda and other automakers. Toyota Motor Co. is expected to reduce all of its 18 Japanese plants' output due to the poor outlook for North American demand.

General Motors and Ford Motor Co. have not indicated any official schedule for restarting their U.S. plants, but Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has said it will restart production on May 4.

Honda first closed its North American plants on March 23. Last week it announced that plants in Celaya and El Salto, Mexico, would resume production on April 30, and plants in U.S. and Canada would resume production on May 1.

Honda operates 12 manufacturing and assembly plants in the U.S. and two in Canada.

The Honda of South Carolina Mfg. Inc. plant that produces powersports products (ATVs and side-by-side vehicles) is scheduled to resume operations on May 4.

Also, Honda extended a current two-week furlough for most of its salaried and support staff at its operations in the U.S. They are now scheduled to return to work on May 8 or 11, depending on the location.

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