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Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. are halting production at plants in North America as the pandemic’s continuing effects on the global supply chain create shortages of essential components.

Toyota cited an unspecified “shortage of petrochemicals" at some North American plants. The shortage would affect production at vehicle factories in Kentucky and Mexico, as well as an engine plant in Alabama. The company said it would intermittently cut shifts or production lines of the Camry and Avalon sedans, the Tacoma pickup truck and the hybrid version of its RAV4 sport-utility vehicle to deal with the shortage. It said that for now it didn’t expect to have to furlough any workers.

Honda said it would halt production at most of its U.S. and Canadian car factories next week because of supply-chain issues including port backlogs that have delayed the delivery of parts.

Honda said a combination of the port issues, a shortage of semiconductors, pandemic-related problems and fallout from severe winter weather across the central U.S. led to the decision. The cold caused pipes to burst in some of its factories.

The car industry has been under stress since the coronavirus pandemic upended the global supply chain. A sharp bounceback from last spring’s initial slowdown has left companies scrambling. Most car makers have said the global shortage of semiconductors would force production cuts, and General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. all announced cuts or temporary plant shutdowns to deal with it.

But jammed ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif., are particularly a problem for Asian car makers that import parts used in their U.S. factories.

The shutdown is set to start at most of Honda’s five auto plants in the U.S. and Canada on March 22 and last a week, the company said, without specifying which plants would halt production.

Honda said the duration of the shutdown could change depending on parts supply. Workers will continue to be paid to perform other tasks at the plants, it said.

Honda last suspended production this time last year when the U.S. started to implement lockdowns to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. In April, the company furloughed around 14,000 workers as the production shutdowns stretched on.


This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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