Automakers with Mexico assembly plants are monitoring the path of Hurricane Patricia -- the “strongest ever” hurricane on record -- as it made landfall Friday night near Manzanillo on Mexico's west coast.
But with mountainous terrain sheltering inland regions, the industry is expecting only a minimal impact on production and logistics.
Honda’s El Salto assembly plant and Nissan’s Aguascalientes plants were near Patricia’s forecasted path, while other nearby plants could still experience rainfall and wind from the hurricane.
Honda said the El Salto plant near Guadalajara canceled its second shift on Friday "based on the need to take safety precautions due to Hurricane Patricia."
"We will continue to monitor the situation and take preventative measures as necessary," a company spokesman said in an e-mail Friday evening.
Mexico assembly plants accounted for 18 percent of North American light-vehicle production in September, according to the Automotive News Data Center.
Earlier Friday, Nissan spokesman David Reuter said the company is “watching the situation” but does not anticipate any major impact from Patricia, which had maximum sustained winds of as much as 200 mph. The hurricane should weaken as it moves inland near Aguascalientes, Reuter said.
Nissan’s Aguascalientes plants are about 320 miles northeast of Manzanillo. They build the Sentra, March, Versa and Versa Note.