Honda Motor Co. said today that it expects Japanese production to return to normal levels before year end following supply-chain disruptions caused by the country's March 11 earthquake.
"As the supply of parts remains fluid, decisions concerning production from July on will be made step-by-step while monitoring the situation, toward the expected normalization of production in Japan before the end of 2011," Honda said in a statement.
In Japan, Honda's output will continue at 50 percent capacity through June, the automaker said. Outside Japan, production plans will be made case-by-case based on availability of parts.
On Friday, Toyota Motor Co. became the first automaker affected by the earthquake to provide a long-term estimate of production plans, saying it would be unable to resume normal output in Japan until November or December.
Since the earthquake, Honda has resumed some passenger vehicle and motorcycle production in Japan. The automaker also has resumed r&d, which was delayed two weeks when its tech center in Utsunomiya was severely damaged.
Honda resumed vehicle output April 11 at half capacity at its Sayama and Suzuka plants. The Sayama site builds the Honda CR-V, Accord and Fit, as well as the Acura RL and TSX. The Suzuka plant assembles the Honda Fit, Civic, Civic Hybrid, Insight and CR-Z.
In March, Honda's domestic output was down 62.9 percent from the same month a year earlier, according to Reuters.
In North America, Honda has extended production cuts at eight U.S. and Canadian factories from March 30 through May 6, with output varying at each plant. Honda originally planned for the production cuts to run through April 22.
The automaker also has restricted orders so dealers cannot modify allocated colors and trim levels for U.S.-built vehicles.
On April 1, Honda had a 48-day supply of vehicles in the United States, down from a 63-day supply on March 1. Through March, Acura's U.S. sales were up 13 percent and the Honda brand's sales were up 21 percent this year from the year-ago period.