Since the US government shut down early this morning, more than 800,000 federal employees could be furloughed without pay until a deal is reached to start the government back up. To help affected employees cope with the temporary layoffs, Hyundai is expanding its Assurance program to defer all of their auto loan or lease payments until they're called back to work.
The tea leaves are getting somewhat clearer over at Fisker Automotive with a new report saying the struggling automaker is furloughing its US workers this week, a month before a payment on the company's $529-million Department of Energy loan is due. Fisker never got the full amount, taking only about $193 million before the funds were frozen.
The reports were spot on. The LG Chem battery plant in Holland, MI – which was intended to make batteries for the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, but has not yet started production – is not only furloughing its 200 employees, those breaks are "extending and expanding," according to reports on local TV news station WZZM 13, citing statements from the company. The rolling furloughs started April 30.
Automotive News Europe reports that struggling Japanese automaker Mazda is set to cut a total of 250 jobs in the U.S. and Europe. The cuts, originally reported by Japan's Nikkei, come as part of new reorganization efforts and represent 25 percent of the company's staff in both markets. Mazda has registered losses for the past four years due in part to slow sales and a stronger yen. As a result, the company is looking to tighten its belt around the world.