Allison Transmission halting production at some Indianapolis sites

Indianapolis-based Allison Transmission Holdings Inc. will suspend production at some of its Indianapolis facilities starting Monday because of coronavirus-related supply chain disruptions and weaker customer demand, the company announced Friday.

Affected employees are being temporarily laid off, said company spokeswoman Claire Gregory. This means the employees won’t be receiving a paycheck during the shutdown, but they will retain their benefits and will be eligible for unemployment benefits.

The workers, which are represented by United Auto Workers Local 933,  will also receive supplemental unemployment benefits under the terms of their union contract, Gregory said.

Friday afternoon, Gregory said the shutdown will affect “a couple hundred” employees, although she said the number is constantly changing. Allison is actively evaluating supply-chain issues and customer demand and is closing select production lines in response, Gregory said. “It’s not every facility in Indianapolis. It’s not every production line.”

Allison has 2,600 employees in Indiana. The company operates seven facilities in Indianapolis along with sites in Auburn Hills, Michigan; Lewisburg, Tennessee; Hungary; and India.

Allison is the latest in a string of Indiana manufacturers that have halted production amidst the coronavirus outbreak. Among them:

In Greenfield, automotive supplier BWI Group—also known as BeijingWest industries Co.—shut down its operations and temporarily laid off 336 workers on Tuesday. The company said the layoffs were necessary in part because the Ford plants it supplies have shut down.

Whitestown-based furniture maker and installer Facility Concepts Inc. laid off 75 employees on Monday. In a letter dated Tuesday, President and CEO Kenneth Weaver said the layoffs were the “result of a downturn and canceled orders due to COVID-19.”

Subaru of Indiana Automotive in Lafayette suspended production on Monday, though its employees are receiving full pay during the shutdown. The company had originally intended for the shutdown to last one week, but Wednesday, Subaru said it would extend it through April 6.

General Motors, Toyota and Honda have also suspended production at their facilities. GM has facilities in Bedford, Fort Wayne, Kokomo and Marion. Honda has a plant in Greensburg, and Toyota’s is in Princeton.

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