Car Industry

Subaru latest to furlough production workforce in US amid coronavirus

The Japanese automaker joins Nissan, Volkswagen and Honda to furlough workers in the US.

The furlough will last one week.
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Subaru joins a growing list of automakers that will furlough workforces as companies look to protect themselves financially amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Automotive News first reported on the furloughs, which will impact all hourly workers at the automaker's plant in Lafayette, Indiana. The plant employs some 5,300 production workers. Subaru confirmed the decision with Roadshow.

"The situation was no longer sustainable while production remains suspended amid health concerns, declining market demand and supply chain issues," a company spokesperson said in a statement.

The plant first shut down on March 23 as numerous automakers halted production and sent workers home to slow the spread of the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. Subaru said workers have been paid since the shutdown started, but starting this Monday with the furloughs, they will be unpaid.

The furlough will last one week, and Subaru will still pay health care benefits for all workers impacted.

Nissan and Honda were first to announce employee furloughs in the US, affecting 10,000 workers each. Volkswagen on Thursday furloughed its entire production and maintenance workforce in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Production should begin on April 20 after Subaru extended the shutdown past April 6. Honda and Nissan hope to reopen plants in the coming weeks; May 4 and April 30, respectively. VW said it's not clear when operations will restart as normal.

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