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Honda, Nissan to lay off 10,000 workers each as coronavirus hits economy

The layoffs come as the COVID-19 pandemic presses pause on car sales worldwide.

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Nissan Leaf production in Tennessee

Workers will need to apply for unemployment benefits.

Nissan
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As Honda and Nissan extend work stoppages at US production plants amid the coronavirus pandemic, both Japanese automakers will reportedly take more drastic measures as world economies remain at a standstill.

Nikkei reported Tuesday that the companies plan to lay off 10,000 workers each at US plants. Honda's US operations have remained idle since March 18 with plans to restart production on May 1. Nissan says it will keep its plants offline through "late April."

A Nissan spokesperson told Roadshow, "The company is implementing temporary layoffs to help manage the business where activity is reduced. Affected employees will be eligible to apply for government support such as enhanced unemployment benefits." 

Since the start of Honda's work stoppage, the automaker has paid full wages, but according to the Nikkei report, the automaker will cease pay starting this Sunday. Honda didn't directly comment on the layoffs.

Nissan operates plants in Tennessee and Mississippi, while Honda's major US manufacturing facilities are located in Ohio and Alabama, among other states. 

Read moreYou lost your job because of coronavirus. These resources can help

Numerous automakers began to shutter their manufacturing plants as the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, spread across the US, with the ultimate goal of protecting workers and slowing the spread. All the while, new car sales plunged in March as stay-at-home orders in a majority of US states keep potential car buyers out of dealerships. Often, state orders closing nonessential businesses leave dealerships closed, save for service centers.

Car buying hasn't entirely shut down: Some automakers are navigating the coronavirus era through online car buying and home delivery.

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