By Kelsey Mays on October 30, 2011
Flooding in Thailand has forced Japanese automakers to trim U.S. production as factory shutdowns affect global supplies. The latest casualty may be the 2012 Honda CR-V, which is slated to hit dealerships in December. Though the CR-V is assembled in Japan, supply shortages mean it "could potentially be delayed by several weeks," Honda said in a statement. Starting Wednesday, Honda will trim production at its U.S. plants for at least a week, depending on the situation. The news comes on the heels of Toyota announcing a week of cutbacks to its North American plants due to the flooding.
"There are some electrical components that we anticipate a shortage of [in] parts" from Thailand, Honda spokesman Jeffery Smith told us. "We believe that will result in a delay of the CR-V launch, but we're not sure how long that will be."
The current U.S.-market CR-V comes from Honda's East Liberty, Ohio, plant, with "some limited quantities" coming from Japan and Mexico, Smith said. He wouldn’t say if the next generation will come from the same locations.The flooding affects two Japanese automakers hit hard by production disruptions from Japan's March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Honda CEO Fumihiko Ike told Automotive News some 35 direct suppliers in Thailand have been affected by the widespread floods — the worst in 50 years, Reuters reported. Automotive News said Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda and Mitsubishi have stopped assembly in Thailand due to supplier shortages or, in some cases, facilities overrun by floodwaters. Nissan, Mazda and Mitsubishi have more cars in stock at U.S. dealerships than Toyota and Honda, whose inventory remained far below the industry's 50-day supply on Oct. 1, according to Automotive News. (Days' supply reflects how long it would take a carmaker’s dealerships to sell off their current stock at a normal rate.)
Nissan and Mazda spokesmen told us their U.S. supplies remain unaffected. We haven't heard back yet from Mitsubishi. Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra told reporters she hopes production in flooded factories will return in three months, but Honda's now-flooded Thai plant could be offline for six months, said a report via Reuters from Japan's Nikkei business newspaper.
Senior Consumer Affairs Editor Kelsey Mays likes quality, reliability, safety and practicality. But he also likes a fair price. Email Kelsey