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Honda delays 2012 CR-V as a result of earthquake impact

The impact of the March 11 Japanese earthquake is becoming more visible as Honda decides to delay 2012 CR-V sales in the United States.

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Three days ago TorqueNews reported that real shortage of Japanese cars is coming up, but stopped short of mentioning any specific models. Yesterday Honda said (according to Bloomberg) that U.S. Honda dealerships won't get the 2012 CR-V any time soon.

In February Honda Motors had announced that the company will launch it's new CR-V model for 2012 this fall. Honda’s United States sales had been dropping and the company was placing all its hopes in the crossover and light truck market. North American market is an important market for Honda with a solid dealership network and stable sales. Now, the delay of CR-V will probably have serious consequences for Honda dealers

Honda is Tokyo-based. Its plants are not in the region effected by the disaster. However, many major Japanese companies that make auto parts are located in the North-Eastern region. Thus, the disruption of parts supply has caused the delay of CR-V. The word on the street is that the new Honda CR-V will come at least a month later than planned.

This disruption also applies to the newly redesigned Honda Civic. The 2011 Civic went on sale only few weeks ago. However, Honda will ship limited units of the new Civic to its dealers. The sale will be limited for few months, Gary Robinson, a U.S.-based Honda spokesman told Bloomberg.

“Recovery from this crisis is difficult and constantly evolving, most notably the challenge of obtaining a few key components required to maintain production at appropriate levels,” John Mendel, Honda’s U.S. executive vice president told U.S. dealers in a letter today. “Overall production volume will be at significantly reduced levels as we continue production adjustments through the summer months.”

Toyota's operations are also disrupted. In April Toyota said it won't be able to fully restore its global auto assembly to its pre-March 11 levels until at least November of 2011.

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