Nissan, Honda Each Plan To Lay Off Or Furlough Over 10,000 U.S. Employees As Plants Stay Idle Through April

Honda is placing its employees on "temporary leave"

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to force closures of automotive plants across the country, Nikkei reports Wednesday that both Nissan and Honda intend to slash labor costs to combat the deepening crisis. For its part, Nissan will lay off around 10,000 U.S. workers at its idle plants. Honda, on the other hand, will place roughly the same number of employees on temporary leave — furloughing them until the end of April.

The report says Nissan does plan to rehire the employees it lays off when it reboots production, but they won’t receive any pay in the meantime.

Honda also said Tuesday that it plans to keep its production facilities shuttered until May. Nissan plans to keep its plants closed at least through the end of April. However, as stay-at-home orders are still in place throughout much of the country, it’s difficult to say whether the plan to open back up in late April will actually happen.

The decision comes as automakers are bolstering cash reserves and tightening how that money’s spent. Nissan suspended production at its U.S. plants on March 20, while Honda plants have been idle since March 23. Both companies will instruct their workers to file for unemployment benefits, as Honda is only guaranteeing salaries through Sunday, April 12.

Honda operates five plants in the U.S. and employs 20,000 workers, half of whom will be placed on leave. According to Nikkei‘s report, Nissan’s move will affect almost all its factory workers. That includes its plants in Smyrna, Tennessee and Canton, Mississippi. Nissan also said recently that its future launch for the new Rogue won’t be impacted, but time will tell whether the intended on-sale date this fall is feasible, depending on how the pandemic continues to disrupt global car production.