LOS ANGELES -- Honda Motor Co. will sharply reduce North American production in November because floods in Thailand have disrupted parts supplies.
Honda will cut its North American output by 50 percent, starting Wednesday. All six North American plants will be affected through Nov. 10, Honda said today in a statement. The factories also will not build vehicles on Nov. 11. All Saturday overtime is canceled through November.
Production likely will be affected for at least "the next several weeks," Honda said. More cuts could be announced later. In addition, the December on-sale date of the redesigned 2012 Honda CR-V may be delayed by several weeks.
The moves further set back Honda in its attempt to recover from the March earthquake in Japan. U.S. sales chief John Mendel has projected that Honda would post a sales gain for October, its first monthly increase since April, as plants returned to full speed. American Honda's U.S. sales were down 6 percent through September in a market that gained 10 percent.
In a letter to dealers sent today, Mendel wrote that some Honda suppliers in Asia are "currently unable to maintain parts production and I regret to inform you that this will affect North American production of vehicles from November through mid- to late-December.
"We expect to resume normal production levels in mid- to late-December. Your planned production for November will be spread out between November, December and perhaps January depending upon our recovery efforts.
"In addition, the planned production for December will be built in January 2012. Unlike the initial situation following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan when we were uncertain about its duration, we are confident about the finite time frame regarding the production disruption that will result from the situation in Thailand," Mendel wrote.