Honda and Fiat Chrysler: See You in May

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
honda and fiat chrysler see you in may

It won’t be a swift return to production for Fiat Chrysler and Honda. Truth be told, the same can likely be said for Ford, GM, and most other automakers with assembly operations in North America.

On Tuesday, we received the latest word on when FCA and Honda plan to restart vehicle assembly.

FCA, which has thus far seen its workforce bear the brunt of coronavirus deaths among the Detroit Three, now expects American and Canadian plants to come back online May 4th. Details about the automaker’s Mexican facilities will follow at a later date, the company said.

“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,” the automaker said in a statement.

“As a result of these actions, we will only restart operations with safe, secure and sanitized workplaces to protect all of our employees.”

FCA shut down its N.A. plants between March 18th and the end of the month.

Honda, which boasts a significant manufacturing base in North America, says it has furloughed workers at its U.S. and Canadian assembly plants, with salaries paid until Sunday. The plants, Honda says, will resume production after May 1st.

Most Honda manufacturing ceased on March 23rd, with the company’s powersports facility in South Caroline continuing production until the 26th. Referencing the “fast-changing nature” of the situation, Honda hinted that its return date doesn’t sit on the firmest of foundations.

As for GM, still no word on when that giant might turn the lights on. Spokespersons continue claiming the automaker will reevaluate the situation at regular intervals, but a shaky return date remains elusive.

Ford, which last week announced plans to build FDA-cleared ventilators at its Rawsonville Components Plant starting the week of April 20, isn’t likely to resume vehicle production before the end of the month. A tentative plan to restart a Mexican plant on April 6th and a few key U.S. facilities on April 14th quickly hit the dustbin; now, April’s looking like a wash.

The last communication from Ford is strictly of a wait-and-see nature.

[Source: Detroit Free Press] [Image: Fiat Chrysler]

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4 of 5 comments
  • Eggsalad Eggsalad on Apr 07, 2020

    It's nice to dream. See you in September, at the earliest.

    • See 1 previous
    • NoID NoID on Apr 07, 2020

      @SCE to AUX A staggered approach makes sense. One shift at a time, introduce more shifts as demand requires. As for development centers, same thing. Bring back a percentage of employees each week for several weeks, starting with the people who couldn't work from home.

  • Michael S6 Michael S6 on Apr 07, 2020

    By May , the epidemic should be on downslope in most but not all parts of USA. It is possible that workers who are not high risk for complication from corona virus can return to work and use masks to reduce risk of infection.

  • Jim Bonham Thanks.
  • Luke42 I just bought a 3-row Tesla Model Y.If Toyota made a similar vehicle, I would have bought that instead. I'm former Prius owner, and would have bought a Prius-like EV if it were available.Toyota hasn't tried to compete with the Model Y. GM made the Bolt EUV, and Ford made the Mach-E. Tesla beat them all fair and square, but Toyota didn't even try.[Shrug]
  • RHD Toyota is trying to hedge their bets, and have something for everyone. They also may be farther behind in developing electric vehicles than they care to admit. Japanese corporations sometimes come up with cutting-edge products, such as the Sony Walkman. Large corporations (and not just Japanese corporations) tend to be like GM, though - too many voices just don't get heard, to the long-term detriment of the entity.
  • Randy in rocklin The Japanese can be so smart and yet so dumb. I'm America-Japanese and they really can be dumb sometimes like their masking paranoia.
  • Bunkie The Flying Flea has a fascinating story and served, inadvertently, to broaden the understanding of aircraft design. The crash described in the article is only part of the tale.