TOKYO -- Honda Motor Co. will cut light-truck output sharply at its Lincoln, Ala., plant to cope with high inventories.
Honda did not specify which models will be cut back. The cuts will reflect market demand, says Satoshi Aoki, Honda's executive vice president.
Four models are under consideration for cuts: the Acura MDX and Honda Pilot SUVs; the Honda Ridgeline pickup; and the Odyssey minivan. Current inventory levels indicate that the MDX and Ridgeline are most likely to be cut.
The cuts at the Lincoln plant indirectly could affect production at Honda's truck plant in Alliston, Ontario.
The Alabama No. 1 line builds the Odyssey and Pilot. Alabama's No. 2 line builds the Odyssey, while the No. 2 line at Honda's plant in Alliston builds the MDX, Pilot and Ridgeline. Honda's manufacturing flexibility allows it to juggle production among those three lines. It therefore could reduce output of any one or more of those models.
As of Jan. 1, American Honda had a 54-day supply of the MDX and a 53-day supply of the Ridgeline. Those levels are down from 82 days for the MDX and 72 days for the Ridgeline on Dec. 1.
In October, Honda said it would cut production of its slow-selling Ridgeline pickup by 3,000 vehicles in the January-March quarter. On Oct. 1, Honda was sitting on a 151-day supply of the Ridgeline. Heavy dealer incentives and lease promotions trimmed that to 53 days as of Jan. 1.
Honda says that the latest round of production cuts is designed to reduce the need for the company to offer incentives on light trucks.
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