IBJNews

Honda to cut production of new Civic, other models

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Honda Motor Co. warned U.S. dealers Monday that it will run short of popular models such as the Civic compact later this summer because of parts shortages caused by Japan's earthquake.

It said normal production may not return until the end of the year.

Honda will significantly cut production of the new 2012 Civic, the sixth most popular car in the U.S., through the summer, if not longer.

In addition, the 2012 version of the CR-V small SUV will be delayed by at least a month this fall. To make up for shortages, Honda will keep making the 2011 version.

Both vehicles are made in North America, but like other automakers, Honda must cut production because it's running low on Japanese imports of chips, sensors and other parts. Japanese plants that supply them were damaged by the March 11 earthquake or hampered by power outages.

Honda employs about 1,000 workers at its Greensburg plant in Indiana, about 50 miles southeast of Indianapolis in Decatur County.




Nearly every major auto company has had to idle factories due to shortages. Honda, Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. have been hit particularly hard. Supply companies are scrambling to build their parts elsewhere, but setting up alternate factories takes months.

Honda, which makes 80 percent of the vehicles sold in North American at plants in the region, also said it will be able to import only a limited number of Japan-built cars in the U.S. That means dealers won't be able to order the Fit subcompact, and the CR-Z, Insight and Civic gas-electric hybrids until later in the year.

"Our goal remains to normalize overall production sometime around the end of the year," John Mendel, executive vice president of sales for American Honda, wrote in the dealer memo.

Shortages also will cut supply of some Acuras, Honda's luxury cars. Dealers won't be able to order the TSX small car and wagon and the RL large sedan until later in the year, the memo said.

The shortages come at a time when gasoline in the U.S. is hitting $4 a gallon in 13 states. That normally drives up sales of fuel-efficient models from Honda and Toyota.

Honda spokeswoman Christina Ra conceded that the production cuts could send some buyers to other brands, but she said some buyers might be willing to wait.

"We can certainly beef up production once things get back to normal," she said.

Honda sold nearly 67,000 Civics through March, up 21 percent from last year. Sales of the CR-V, which ranks No. 11 in U.S. sales, were up 58 percent to just over 57,000 through March.

Some industry analysts think production cuts by Japanese automakers could help General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Hyundai and other automakers that have not been hit as hard by parts shortages.

GM, Ford and Hyundai have far better entries in the compact car market than in past years, and buyers who would automatically have bought a Honda or Toyota may end up trying other brands.

Mendel's memo said Honda would have to stop taking orders for some paint colors due to lack of a certain shiny pigment made only in Japan. Ra said the colors are types of red, blue, dark gray and white.

Last month Honda said it would slow down production at its 10 U.S. and Canadian auto factories into at least early May because of shortages. The company still says none of its 21,000 North American factory workers will be laid off. Toyota has made similar moves in North America.

Separately, a Toyota engine factory in Huntsville, Ala., remains closed for lack of electricity. Alabama was devastated by tornadoes on Wednesday, and company spokesman Mike Goss said Toyota isn't sure when the plant will reopen.

The plant makes engines for the Tundra and Tacoma pickups, and the Sequoia SUV.

Goss said factories that assemble the trucks have not been affected so far. The pickups are made in San Antonio, Texas, while the Sequoia is made in Indiana at a plant in Princeton.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

  5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?

ADVERTISEMENT