Honda cautiously back to work in China’s Wuhan
WUHAN, China, April 8: Temperature checkpoints and posters telling workers to keep more than a metre apart at Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co's reopened plant in the Chinese city of Wuhan show how the coronavirus has created a new normal on the factory floor.
The plant, a Honda joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Group was shut in late January when authorities ordered a lockdown in Wuhan in a bid to snuff out the coronavirus, which emerged there late last year.
It reopened on March 11 to resume operations in stages and is now back to pre-virus production levels, Li Shiquan, assistant director of the joint venture's No. 2 final assembly plant, told reporters on Wednesday.
Returning workers were asked to report where they had been since the epidemic started and temperature checkpoints were set up, Li said.
About 98per cent of its 12,000 workers were now back and were putting in over-time to make up for lost production, he said.
The joint venture produced 800,000 cars last year.
"We have many customers who are waiting for cars so this week we have arranged for each worker to work 1.5 hours more," he said, adding that a typical shift was eight hours.
A sign hanging from the ceiling in the factory said the goal was 1,237 cars that day, 17per cent higher than the 1,060 it usually produced.
Plants at Honda's Guangzhou-based joint venture with GAC are also running extra shifts, GAC's chairman Zeng Qinghong told analysts on its earnings call last week.
The central industrial hub of Wuhan started allowing people to leave the city on Wednesday in what is seen as a turning point for China's fight against the coronavirus. -Reuters