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Honda's North American Restart is Underway

May 11, 2020
The automaker initiated its effort to resume production at 12 manufacturing and assembly plants, implementing a series of safety measures and modified work processes to maintain social distancing.

Honda Motor Co. initiated restarts at its automotive assembly and engine and transmission manufacturing operations in the U.S. and Canada on May 8, seven weeks after it idled North American production to help contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

Honda operates 12 manufacturing and assembly plants for passenger cars and light trucks in the U.S. and two in Canada. This includes the Anna (OH) Engine Plant that casts aluminum alloy four-cylinder, V-6, and turbo engine blocks and transmission components, which are installed at Honda assembly plants throughout North America.

Honda plants in Celaya and El Salto, Mexico, began to resume production on April 30.

The automaker noted that operations will resume gradually according to the location, with most plants using the first day to train front-line leaders in new, COVID-19 prevention procedures and activities. Prior to resuming production, all associates will learn new safety measures and modified work processes to maintain social distancing.

Among the new safety measures are temperature scanning for all Honda associates, suppliers, contractors and visitors, with access prohibited for anyone determined to have a body temperature of 100°F or higher. Also, masks and cloth face covering will be require at all time in all building, with one new mask to be provided per day for each associate; face shields for workers in some designated manufacturing locations; and increased cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing activities throughout Honda operations.

Social distancing measures will include staggered shift start times and staggered lunch and break times; adjusted production processes and workstations to achieve social distancing on production lines; capacity changes in common areas, such as restrooms and locker rooms to limit capacity; increased signage to remind associates of social distancing requirements, CDC guidelines for good hygiene and other helpful safety and health information.

Honda also emphasized that it will continue to maximize opportunities for associates to work remotely, and to maintain social distancing for associates performing essential roles at Honda facilities.

Ford Motor Co. announced it plans to resume production and operations in North America beginning on May 18, using a phased approach. Other North American automakers are expected to outline their respective restart plans in the coming week.