Honda China Employees Scramble for Layoff Packages Amid Market Turbulence

Honda China Employees Scramble for Layoff Packages Amid Market Turbulence

Sofia Delgado-Cheng
3 min read

Honda China Employees Scramble for Layoff Packages Amid Market Turbulence

On June 18, reports of Honda China employees competing for layoff quotas sparked widespread discussion. This unusual situation stems from a large-scale layoff initiative by Honda’s Chinese subsidiary, Guangzhou Honda (GAC Honda), which began in May 2024. The layoff strategy focused on voluntary resignations with substantial compensation packages. Initially, 900 voluntary slots were available, but due to overwhelming interest, over 2,300 employees have left, with additional layoffs possible in administrative and other departments.

A key factor driving the high interest in these layoffs is the generous compensation package offered by GAC Honda. The scheme, termed “N+2+1.8,” includes severance pay based on years of service (N), two additional months' salary, and an extra 1.8 months' bonus. This package is considered more attractive than those offered by other companies, such as Tesla’s “N+3” scheme during its global layoffs in April 2024.

Key Takeaways

  1. Generous Compensation Packages: The primary reason for the high number of voluntary layoffs is the lucrative severance package provided by GAC Honda.
  2. Production Decline: Declining production and utilization rates at GAC Honda have led to reduced working hours and wages, prompting employees to opt for the layoff.
  3. Future Layoffs: While the initial layoffs focused on production workers, further cuts in administrative and other departments are expected.
  4. Market Challenges: GAC Honda is struggling with reduced market share and production efficiency in the face of rising competition from domestic electric vehicle manufacturers.


The rush for layoff quotas at GAC Honda highlights significant issues within the company and the broader automotive market in China. The generous compensation package, while attractive to employees, underscores the company’s efforts to reduce its workforce amicably amid challenging market conditions.

GAC Honda’s production has been significantly impacted, with the utilization rate dropping from nearly 100% in 2022 to 84.57% in 2023. This reduction in production efficiency has resulted in lower wages for employees, making the layoff packages even more appealing. Moreover, many of those opting for the layoffs are nearing retirement, suggesting a strategic move by long-term employees to secure a financial cushion as they exit the workforce.

The layoffs are part of a broader trend affecting Japanese automotive brands in China, which are facing intense competition from domestic electric vehicle manufacturers. GAC Honda, once a top performer with rapid production records and innovative models, now faces declining sales. In May 2024, GAC Honda’s sales dropped by 41.31% compared to the previous year, illustrating the severity of the situation.

To combat these challenges, Honda is not only reducing its workforce but also attempting to innovate. The launch of a new energy vehicle brand, Ye, and partnerships with leading Chinese suppliers like CATL and Huawei, indicate Honda’s strategy to align with the growing electric vehicle market in China. However, the effectiveness of these measures remains to be seen.

Did You Know?

  • Historical Success: GAC Honda was established in 1998, taking over the assets of the former Guangzhou Peugeot factory. It is notable for revitalizing the Guangzhou automotive industry and employing the original workforce from Guangzhou Peugeot.
  • First 4S Store: GAC Honda was the first automaker in China to establish a 4S store (Sales, Service, Spare parts, and Survey), setting a precedent for the industry.
  • Production Milestone: Despite current struggles, GAC Honda celebrated a significant milestone last year by reaching cumulative production and sales of 10 million vehicles.

The situation at GAC Honda is a microcosm of the larger shifts within the global automotive industry, where traditional manufacturers are grappling with the rapid rise of electric vehicles and changing market dynamics.

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