Honda and Nissan in the US have furloughed thousands of workers in the US as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hamper demand for new vehicles in the country. A Honda spokesman said it employs 18,400 workers across its plants in Alabama, Indiana and Ohio, and would guarantee salaries through Sunday (April 12, 2020).

The automaker had suspended operations on March 23, and the factories would remain closed until May 1, 2020. “In additional to the impact of Covid-19 on the marketplace, stay-at-home orders in many cities and states prevent consumers in a number of markets from purchasing new vehicles. As a result, Honda must continue to suspend production in order to align product supply with a lack of market demand,” Honda said in a statement.

Nissan had also announced that it will be laying off 10,000 hourly workers in the US, which began on April 6. Its factory operations have also temporarily ceased, and will remain so through April. Reuters reported that car brands are facing a dramatic drop in sales in the US, the world’s second-largest car market, after some states barred dealers from selling new cars while the stay-at-home orders are in place.

“Nissan manufacturing facilities in the US will remain closed through late April as a measure to help protect employees and reduce the spread of Covid-19 coronavirus. Some business-essential work that must be done on site will continue with enhanced safety measures. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will make adjustments as needed,” it said.

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