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Honda, Mazda, Suzuki update production stoppages

Honda Motor Company announced today that they are extending their production stoppage caused by the Japanese earthquakes, tsunamis and chain of nuclear blasts; Mazda and Suzuki have both planned to restart production at a few of their plants originally shut down from the quakes.

Honda originally announced that they would halt production until Sunday but with today’s announcement, those faculties will remain closed through Wednesday March 23rd. That announcement comes just after Honda sent a memo to their US dealerships stating that the company is reviewing dealer allotments on vehicles built after May. According to the Wall Street Journal, Honda is questioning whether they will be able to return to full production at their Japanese plants before May 2011.

The good news for Honda produces just 22% of their vehicles in Japan, accounting for 69,170 units in January. However, the longer those few plants in Japan are either not running or are running at a reduced rate, the better the chance there is of those Japanese-built models (like the new CR-Z) of running into allotment issues to dealers around the world.

Mazda also previously suspended production at their Hofu and Hiroshima plants until Sunday and they have added one more day to the down-time, as the company expects to restart operations on Tuesday, March 22nd. They intend for Tuesday to mark a “temporary resumption of operations”, presumably to test their abilities to produce cars with the nuclear power issues and lower-tier supplier shortages. Once Mazda workers have a chance to really get into the equipment and inventory, we should have a better idea as to how much Mazda’s production could be slowed over the next few months.

Suzuki will resume partial production at two of their Japanese vehicle assembly plants and one motorcycle plant on Tuesday in an effort to at least complete the vehicles sitting on the assembly lines, partially built. Future production information will be announced once the company has a chance to access their supplier status.

Source: Automotive News

Other Japanese Earthquake News:
Chrysler avoids stoppages after Japanese earthquake and tsunami
GM closes Shreveport plant due to shortages from Japanese earthquake
German automakers evacuate employees from Japan over nuclear risks
Honda, Mazda, Subaru keep plants closed until next week, Mitsubishi re-opens
Toyota continues production stoppage until next Tuesday