The impact of Thailand's floods on Honda Motor Co has extended to a fourth continent, while in contrast Toyota Motor Corp showed further signs of recovery from the disaster. The flood inundated hundreds of parts suppliers, forcing many automakers to halt work in the country and reduce output elsewhere.
Just as they were beginning to work extra hours and days to make up for massive production losses after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the floods hit Japanese automakers hard. Among Japanese automakers, Honda has been hit the hardest, with its 240,000-cars-a-year plant and about 35 of its tier-one suppliers under water.
A spokesman for Japan's third-biggest automaker said on Thursday the company had started to cut output in Brazil this week following a reduction at its factory in Britain from Oct. 31. Production in North America would be affected for several more weeks, Honda said on Tuesday.
It had previously announced that production at several Asian factories, including Japan from this week, would be also lowered. Honda has not disclosed how much production has been cut. Both Toyota and Honda have withdrawn their profit forecasts for the year to March, citing uncertainty about production.
Toyota, on the other hand, said its North American plants will bring back planned overtime that had been postponed because of the floods from Nov. 14 and its Indiana and Canadian factories will operate on Saturday, Nov. 19, as originally scheduled.
Japan's biggest automaker said on Wednesday it would resume partial production at its three Thai factories from Nov. 21. Toyota has yet to give an update on its operational plans for other Southeast Asian regions such as Indonesia and South Africa beyond this week.
Thailand's disasters have hit automakers in varying degrees. Nissan Motor Co, Japan's no2 vehicle maker, has said lost output would amount of 60,000 vehicles at most, with a partial restart planned in Thailand from Nov. 14.
Mazda Motor Co and Ford Motor Co's Thai joint venture is set to resume work soon. Shares of Japanese automakers fell in a broad decline in Tokyo on Thursday. Toyota and Honda both fell 2.4 percent, in line with the Topix index, while Nissan fell 2.8 percent.