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Honda Restarting Factories In U.S. And Canada This Week

Workers on the Honda assembly line in Marysville, Ohio.
Steve Brown
Workers build Honda Accords at the Honda factory in Marysville, Ohio

Honda re-started production at its facilities in the U.S. and Canada on Monday. That’s good news for a lot of businesses around Central Ohio.

After a seven-week pause, cars will soon begin rolling off production lines at Honda plants, including the one in Marysville. Eric Phillips, who heads up the Union County-Marysville economic development partnership, says Honda employees could help spur the local retail and dining sector.

“You know, it’s not uncommon for a pizza shop in Marysville to get a request or order for 100 pizzas,” Phillips says. “So that’s just one example of many impacts that Honda has.”

Honda paused production at its North American plants in March, before furloughing nearly 14,000 hourly workers as those shutdowns continued into April.

On May 4, Ohio allowed manufacturers that had closed as non-essential to resume operations.

But Phillips says ramping back up will have an even larger ripple effect extending beyond city limits.

“Honda also has a ton of suppliers and that’s very unique when you have that many suppliers that supply the operation,” Phillips says. “So it is a foundational type of situation when they impact so many different companies and suppliers and also employees of those suppliers.”

Phillips notes there are hundreds of different companies around the state that are part of the Honda supply chain.

As workers return to the job, Honda is instituting a number of safety guidelines including staggered shifts and breaks, as well as temperature checks, masks and additional cleaning and hygiene.

Nick Evans was a reporter at WOSU's 89.7 NPR News. He spent four years in Tallahassee, Florida covering state government before joining the team at WOSU.