- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 31, 2009

COLUMBUS, OHIO (AP) - Honda Motor Co. is offering voluntary buyouts, cutting workers’ pay and imposing 13 non-production days at its North American plants to reduce its production this summer by 62,000 vehicles.

Honda spokesman Ron Lietzke said Tuesday that the buyouts will be offered to most of the Japanese automaker’s 35,600 employees in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Enhanced retirement packages are also being offered, he said.

Overall compensation will be reduced for its North American employees, with top executives experiencing the biggest cuts, Lietzke said. He would not say how much salaries would be reduced.

Bonuses will be greatly reduced or eliminated, but pay rates for production and hourly workers will not be affected, Lietzke said.

“There is a continuing need to reduce our inventory,” Lietzke said. “Regardless of job title or level within our organization, each Honda associate will share the responsibility of doing what we must do to remain competitive.”

Honda builds Accords and Acuras in Marysville, Ohio, near Columbus, and makes Civics and Elements at a factory in East Liberty, Ohio. The company also has an auto plant in Alabama and it makes parts in Georgia.

The 13 non-production days will fall from May through July, and employees will have the option of using vacation days or taking no pay on most of those days, Lietzke said. The company is limiting non-work days to two a month to limit the effect on employees, he said.

The company said in December it would cut vehicle production at its Ohio plants by 58,000.

Honda followed that with an announcement in January that it would reduce production in North America by 29,000 vehicles, a move that would affect plants in Ohio, as well as Ontario, Canada, and Lincoln, Ala.

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