Honda Motor Co. is seeking to recover from the Japan disaster months earlier than forecasted. It expects that its assembly plants in Japan will be able to resume normal production by summer.
Spokesman Keitaro Yamamoto said Honda’s factories in Sayama and Suzuka factories, the car’s only assembly plants in Japan, are expected to get back to pre-earthquake production levels by August.
Honda had previously announced that global production will be restored by the end of the year. Honda had been significantly affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan that had resulted to disruptions in the supply chain and to idled plants.
But it’s likely that the global operations will normalize earlier with the progress in the country’s recovery. Honda anticipates that the r&d center’s engineers, who were out of work after the disaster struck, will go back to the facility by the middle of June.
The earthquake claimed one death and led to several injuries when it caused the ceiling at Honda’s body design facility to crash down. Last March, Honda put a thousand of its r&d workers (about 10% of the center’s total workforce) to continue their work at its other buildings in the site or at its other facilities in Japan while repairs are ongoing.
Yamamoto said that suppliers are exceeding expectations and are restoring output earlier. That is why automakers are also able to resume normal production earlier too.
Honda’s improved outlook was revealed only days after it said that U.S. production will go back to normal this August for its entire lineup except the recently redesigned Civic. Honda has announced that a second shift will be put up later in 2011 at its Civic plant in Indiana to help make up for the production losses.