BIRMINGHAM, Ala., (WIAT) — Beginning March 23, the Honda plant in Lincoln will suspend production for six days with current plans to return to production on March 31.
This comes after Honda announced more frequent efforts to temporarily close and sanitize all of its facilities nationwide Tuesday.
Kevin McGough, who has worked at the Lincoln Honda plant for two years, has mixed emotions after Honda announced vehicle production will stop.
“You don’t really expect these things to happen,” McGough said.
However, the paychecks will not stop. The company says 27,000 employees will continue to be paid.
Honda says the shutdown is due to an anticipated decline in market demand related to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company says the six-day delay will reduce production by approximately 40,000 vehicles.
The company released the following statement:
“As the market impact of the fast-changing COVID-19 situation evolves, Honda will continue to evaluate conditions and make additional adjustments as necessary. In undertaking this production adjustment, Honda is continuing to manage its business carefully through a measured approach to sales that aligns production with market demand.”
In 2019, Honda announced their findings on the economic impact and stated that they contributed more than $12 billion in 2018 to the state’s economy and, along with its suppliers, was responsible for more than 45,000 jobs in Alabama
“Honda has been a huge impact on east Alabama,” Lincoln Mayor Lew Watson said.
Watson said he’s pleased to know Honda workers would still be compensated during their time off, but fears of the coronavirus continue to mount…?
“I think all of us are worried about the impact it may make if someone here locally gets the disease,” he said.
Watson said the city of Lincoln is following the general guidelines from the state such as closing city facilities and social distancing.
In the meantime, McCough waits to see how this temporarily shutdown will affect each department, but as for now, he has no plans to look for work elsewhere.
This production adjustment will also allow Honda associates to better prepare and adjust family plans in relation to regional directives to close schools to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
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