NEW YORK – As logistics go, the launch of the redesigned 2012 Honda Civic could not have come at a worse time.
The Civic goes on sale today, but supply lines crimped by the Japanese earthquake have limited days supply to less than two weeks' worth of cars.
"We have about 10,000 or 12,000 of the new Civics in dealerships," said John Mendel, American Honda executive vice president.
In the United States, Honda typically sells 25,000 to 35,000 Civics a month, and sold 64,968 units of the old model through March. Honda sold 53,299 Civics in one month during the 2008 cash-for-clunkers campaign.
The supply situation likely won't get much better any time soon. The Civic is no less vulnerable than the rest of the Honda lineup to shortages of parts needed to build the car, Mendel said.
Honda has been forced to cut production by about half at North American plants through early May.
Mendel declined to give production forecasts beyond that date.
All Civics, except for the Civic Hybrid, are made in North America. The Civic Hybrid is built in Japan.
"We'll do what we need to do," Mendel said. "The situation changes every day."