Kia's West Point, Georgia, plant will close to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Two Fiat Chrysler workers die, Honda expands shutdowns to powersports plants, Kia stopping production in Georgia

COVID-19 closures expand as automakers face strict limits from state governments.


Cleveland, Ohio – The latest automotive COVID-19 news is:

Fiat Chrysler workers in Indiana, Michigan die from COVID-19

United Auto Workers (UAW) officials said one Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) workers in Kokomo, Indiana, and one in Sterling Heights, Michigan, have died from the COVID-19 disease caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are working around the clock with companies in every sector, health officials, and governmental agencies across this nation to keep our members and our communities safe,” UAW President Rory Gamble said in a letter to union members. “This week, as of March 23, 2020, we succeeded in finally getting American Axle and Manufacturing to close the Fraser, Michigan, facility after a worker tested positive at that location.”

The UAW also negotiated longer shutdowns and Ford, and officials said FCA will keep its plants closed past the end of March as the company had planned when it shuttered production last week. Ford has already announced plans for longer shutdowns. General Motors has not announced any shutdown extensions, but UAW officials say they’re working with GM to stay closed longer there as well.

Honda in North Carolina

Honda Power Equipment Mfg. Inc. (HPE) will suspend production of all-terrain vehicles in Swepsonville, North Carolina, due to parts supply issues related the COVID-19 pandemic. HPE will suspend production for seven days beginning Thursday, March 26. Honda hopes to return to production on April 6, however many motor vehicle producers have stopped predicting resumption dates.

HPE makes a variety of power equipment products, including general purpose engines, lawn mowers, water pumps, snow throwers, generators, and mini-tillers. Employees will receive full pay during the shutdown.

Honda shut down its car plants in North America on Monday with plans to resume work next week. The company has not officially altered that target, but officials say they’re evaluating changing market conditions and may make additional adjustments to build schedules.

Kia in Georgia

Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia Inc. (KMMG) will suspend production at its West Point facility on Monday with plans to reopen in two weeks. The company had already planned a shutdown from April 6-to-April 10 for new model equipment changes.

While operations are suspended, KMMG will perform additional cleaning and disinfecting processes of work stations throughout the plant. KMMG will continue to closely monitor the situation and follow guidelines set by local, state and federal authorities.