Honda, Toyota cut India production after tsunami

Honda, Toyota cut India production after tsunami

Mumbai: Honda’s India unit will halve auto production because of a shortage of components following the March tsunami in Japan, while Toyota Motor Corp. is cutting production by 70%.

“Honda Motors Japan is doing a 50% production cut," company spokesman Jnaneswar Sen said Tuesday. “We are still evaluating parts supply with some vendors only in Japan. They were severely hit by the tsunami."

Honda’s plant outside the capital New Delhi turned out 61,000 vehicles in the year ending 31 March, Sen said, less than its full capacity of 100,000 vehicles a year. The company hopes to resume full production after July.

Honda’s engine and parts plant in Rajasthan is unaffected by the production cuts, he said. The 11 March earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan’s northeast, which was home to thousands of auto parts suppliers. Honda Motor Co. said in a Monday statement that the supply of parts from Japan remains “fluid," with most suppliers making progress to restart production. For the few suppliers who haven’t been able to make progress, Honda said it is evaluating other supply sources. About three-quarters of the parts in most models made by Honda’s joint venture with Siel Ltd. in India, including the popular Honda City sedan, come from India. Honda Siel Cars India Ltd. sold 59,463 vehicles in the year ending 31 March. Honda has also had to cut production at its US and Canadian factories. Toyota’s India unit, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd., began its 70% production cut on Monday.

The company says it will operate at 30% of normal capacity through 4 June because of supply difficulties following the tsunami. The company said 15 March that it planned to ramp up India production from 150,000 to 210,000 vehicles a year thanks to strong demand. Japan is the second-largest supplier of cars in the world, as well as a major parts producer. Ford Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co., Mazda Motor Corp. and Chrysler have also said they are facing production disruptions due to parts shortages following the disaster.