Product development at Honda’s global r&d center, which suffered extensive damage as a result of the earthquake in Japan, will be delayed by at least two weeks. While repairs are ongoing, Honda has started to transfer 1,000 employees, or about 10% of the workforce, from its tech center in Utsunomiya, north of Tokyo, to other sites.
Spokesman Keitaro Yamamoto said that the earthquake tore down numerous walls and ceiling at the r&d center, particularly in office areas.
Because of the strength of the earthquake, the life of a Honda employee was ended and a total of 17 workers sustained injuries. Last week, Honda said that it will take months before the r&d center becomes fully operational. Honda, one of the worst hit companies, aims to lessen the impact on product development by transferring work to intact facilities.
Honda’s shutdown of its Japanese assembly plants will continue to at least April 3. Honda also said that its U.S. production may also be slimmed down after April 1 because of parts shortage.
In addition, Honda has suspended U.S. orders for vehicles built in Japan like the Fit small car, the Insight, CR-Z and Civic hybrids and the Acura TSX and RL sedans. Honda Motor Co. announced that its earnings announcement may be delayed as it halts output and does damage control.