TOKYO -- Honda Motor Co., emerging as one of the automakers hardest hit by Japan's earthquake crisis, extended the shutdown of domestic assembly plants and says it will take several months for its r&d center in the quake zone to resume full operations.
Honda previously suspended vehicle production through March 27, but now says its two plants will be shuttered through at least April 3. That will further pinch supplies of such models as the Fit small car, CR-V crossover and Acura TSX sedan.
Meanwhile, Honda says repair work at the damaged automobile unit of Honda R&D Co. in Tochigi prefecture, an area hit hard by the mammoth March 11 quake, will take months. In the interim, Honda is transferring some of the tech center's work to other locations.
"Based on the expectation that it will take several months until the complete recovery of these facilities, Honda decided to temporally transfer some functions such as the automobile product development, development of manufacturing technologies and procurement to Honda operations in other locations such as Sayama, Suzuka, and Wako," Honda said in a statement today.
Other Japanese automakers limped toward recovery today, with Toyota Motor Corp. announcing plans to resume limited production of hybrid vehicles, including the Prius, on Monday.