Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Honda say their factories will remain closed until May as the COVID-19 virus continues to take a heavy toll across the U.S.
“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,” Honda says in a statement.
Honda will extend the production suspension previously announced for all its automobile, engine and transmission plants in the U.S. and Canada through May 1. The automaker first suspended automobile production suspension on March 23 and said as recently as April 2 that it planned to resume production Friday.
Honda of South Carolina Mfg., which produces powersports products including ATVs and side-by-side vehicles, is extending the production suspension through May 1. HSC originally suspended production on March 26.
FCA says it plans to resume production in its plants in the U.S. and Canada on May 4. The status of production at FCA’s Mexico operations will be announced separately.
COVID-19 has claimed more than 10,000 lives across the U.S., including 11 FCA employees, six Ford workers and one Daimler employee from Gastonia, NC, according to the UAW.
The union was noncommittal about FCA’s proposed May 4 restart, saying only it was monitoring the situation. FCA, along with General Motors and Ford, shut down their U.S. plants in mid-March under pressure from the UAW.
Rory Gamble, UAW president (left), notes GM and Ford have not announced restart dates.
“We are continuing to work with all of our employers across all sectors to keep our members safe,” Gamble says. “As always, I want to urge everyone to stay safe, support one another and please adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.”
Gamble also salutes UAW employees who have volunteered to help automakers produce medical equipment for use in the struggle to control the pandemic. “I know that our UAW brothers and sisters are stepping up in countless ways to help those in need in communities across the country,” he says.