Nissan, Honda to furlough thousands of workers in U.S., Europe

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Nissan Motor Co is looking to cut over 10,000 jobs temporarily in the United States and Europe, as local production remains suspended amid the coronavirus outbreak, sources close to the matter said Tuesday.

Nissan is considering reducing its workforce in the U.S. market in addition to plans already outlined to temporarily lay off most of the 6,000 workers at its plant in Sunderland in Britain and around 3,000 in Spain.

Its three vehicle assembly and engine plants in Tennessee and Mississippi have been suspended since March 20. The suspension was originally scheduled to continue through Monday but was extended until late April.

Even before the pandemic, Nissan, Japan’s third-biggest carmaker by volume, had planned to cut 12,500 jobs or nearly 10 percent of its total global workforce as part of the restructuring.

The automaker has been struggling with faltering vehicle sales following the ouster of Carlos Ghosn as chairman.

Nissan in February reported its first quarterly net loss in 11 years for the October to December period and cut its earnings forecast.

Separately, Honda Motor Co will put many of its 20,000 or so workers in the United States on temporary leave as, just like other carmakers, it has halted production since the pneumonia-causing virus spread started disrupting the supply chain and denting demand.

Japan’s second-largest carmaker said Monday it will extend the suspension of Honda plants in the United States and Canada until May 1.

Honda will continue to pay the workers their salaries through April 12, and thereafter they will be covered by unemployment benefits from their local municipalities.

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