DETROIT -- Honda Motor Co. said it will readjust production schedules at its North American assembly, transmission and engine plants for two days each week from May 9 through July 1.
The automaker will run the same number of hours and produce the same number of vehicles as it has since late March, said Honda spokesman Ed Miller.
Honda cut daily output at its North American factories March 30 in response to parts shortages caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Starting May 9, Honda will shut its plants in the United States, Canada and Mexico on Mondays and Fridays. The automaker will run full production on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Thursdays could have up to eight hours of output.
"It's the same situation," Miller said. "It's just that we're more efficient this way."
Before the original output cuts, Honda was running two shifts at all its plants, except for its Greensburg, Ind., plant, which was operating one shift, Miller said.
Workers can opt to stay home on the off days without penalty or come in for training and nonproduction activities. Previously scheduled holidays for Memorial Day in the United States and Victoria Day in Canada are included in the downtime.
On Monday, Honda announced it would suspend June and July dealer orders for vehicles built in Japan. The decision will affect the Fit, Insight, CR-Z, Civic Hybrid, Acura TSX and Acura RL. Also affected are a small number of CR-Vs.
It also delayed the release of its 2012 CR-V sport-utility vehicle by a month and restricted orders because of paint shortages so dealers cannot modify allocated colors and trim levels for U.S.-built vehicles. Dealer allocations of the redesigned Civic, which went on sale in late April, will be limited during summer.
Today, Honda reported a 10 percent increase in Honda brand sales in the United States and an 8 percent increase in Acura brand sales in the United States from the same month a year ago. Overall the automaker's U.S. light-vehicle sales rose 10 percent in April from a year ago.
In 2010, Honda built 87 percent of its U.S.-sold units in the United States, Miller said. The Fit is the only U.S.-sold vehicle imported in large numbers from Japan. Last week, Honda said it expects Japanese production to return to normal levels before year end.