A different approach to a slowdown

Honda to cut back production, but workers will focus on safety, quality

By Plant Engineering Staff July 22, 2008

Like many other manufacturers, Honda is slowing production this summer on some of its less-efficient vehicles. The typical August slowdown in production is more acute this year with rising gas prices sending drivers scurrying for more fuel-efficient cars.

So it came as no surprise that Honda announced it would scale back production of its Odyssey and Pilot models at the Lincoln, AL facility. However, as the Birmingham Business Journal reported, that doesn’t mean layoffs, or even idle workers. A spokesman for Honda said production workers will be offered the chance to use vacation time. Take time off with no pay and no attendance penalty, or come to work to perform non-production tasks. The spokesman also said employees would use the downtime to improve its safety and quality programs.

“Our associates who choose to come to work during these non-production shifts will use this time for additional training in safety and quality as well as maintenance,” the spokesman said. “In addition, many associates will make preparations for the Ridgeline pick up that will soon be built in Lincoln.”