Production cuts that Honda Motor Co. imposed on its North American plans for parts shortages from Japan suppliers are extended one more week through April 22, according to a memo sent by John Mendel, Honda's U.S. sales boss, to dealers. More adjustments in the production are to be expected in the coming weeks too.
On March 29, Honda cut output up to half at the majority of its North American assembly plants, mainly by letting shifts run for four hours rather than eight. Honda’s production in Japan has been closed since the March 11 earthquake. These updates are also posted on Honda’s Web site.
In this memo, Mendel also said that Honda retailers won’t be able to change the trim or color of vehicles written in June vehicle allocations because of the need for stability in production planning. Honda spokesman Gary Robinson confirmed that Mendel sent a memo to address this issue but he declined to make a comment on the revisions to June’s allocation process.
Mendel had sent a previous memo telling dealers that on April 18, Honda will end incentives for the 2011 Civic Hybrid and 2011 Insight hybrid. These two models are built in Japan.
Mendel explained that Honda wants to avoid creating “excess demand” for vehicles that have low inventory levels. He added that there’s still some inventory but the demand for fuel-efficient vehicles is high and this is a problem since production of Japan-assembled vehicles has been stopped.