Patrick Rall's picture

Honda issues a statement on damages caused by the earthquake and tsunami

The news of the Japanese earthquake and ensuing tsunami has been full of discussions about the impact on the auto industry but Honda Motor Company has issued a grim statement addressing the damages caused in the Tochigi which, sadly, includes the loss of at least one life and injuries to dozens of others.
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Since the chain of natural disasters hit Japan last week, the Japanese automakers have offered regular updates as to the status of their business operations but Honda’s statement last night offered a grim reminder of the more important stories from Japan. When the earthquake struck the Tochigi area of Japan, the Honda Research & Development center was going through a seemingly normal work day so there were a great many Honda company employees in the R&D center. Like many buildings in the area, the massive 8.9 earthquake rocked the Tochigi R&D center, causing ceilings and walls to collapse throughout the facility. As the building crumbled away, a falling wall took the life of a 43 year old male Honda employee and the damage to the buildings caused severe injuries to 17 other Honda employees. However, Honda has reported that all American employees working in Japan for the automaker overseas made it through the disasters without injury.

In light of the devastation in Japan, all efforts have been turned to public safety and recovery efforts so Honda has announced their schedule of operations for the next few weeks. As of yesterday, Honda has suspended production at six major production facilities: the Kumamoto Factory, the Sayama Plant at Saitama Factory, the Ogawa Plant, the Tochigi Factory, the Hamamatsu Factory and the Suzuka Factory. These plants will see their production activities suspended until at least March 20th.

In addition to production being halted at the above Honda factories, Honda has suspended all operations at all of their company facilities in the ravaged Tochigi area. This includes the aforementioned Tochigi Factory, the Honda R&D Center where the fatality and injuries occurred, and the Honda Engineering facility.

Honda has made contributions to assist local authorities and the armed forces in their efforts to clean up Japan beginning with 300 million yen, which would be around $3.7 million US dollars. Next, Honda donated 1,000 generators, including both commercial gasoline powered and in-home style generators that run on gas canisters – along with 5,000 gas canisters for the generators that use them. Honda has also sent a crew of employees out with these generators to make sure that the people using them understand how they work. Finally, the North American arm of Honda is offering a dollar for dollar matching program for any of their 29,000 associates in North America who make donations to the Red Cross.

Other current news:
US auto industry hit by supplier shortages in wake of Japanese Tsunami
Honda facing possible venomous spider recall similar to Mazda
The 2012 Honda Civic is announced in five trimlines
ACEEE: Chevy Volt is one of the worst "green cars" in America


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