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by Tim Beissmann

Honda has resumed production at its vehicle assembly plant in Thailand almost six months after the country’s worst floods in 50 years put the factory under water.

While many manufacturers were hurt by restricted supply from flooded parts makers, Honda was the only automotive company to have a Thai assembly facility flooded. Production at the Ayutthaya plant came to a halt in October, and Honda predicts the floods have cost it approximately 260,000 vehicles in lost production, according to a Reuters report.

As a result, the company’s total global production plummeted 20 per cent last year to 2.9 million – the first time it has fallen below three million units in eight years.

With the plant scheduled return to full capacity in April, Honda will look to put a horror 2011 behind it, in which it was also impacted by the Japan earthquake and tsunami in March.

Honda Australia was hit hard by the follow-on effects of the natural disasters, with limited supply of Jazz, City, Civic sedan and Accord vehicles over the past few months. The supply shortages compounded existing issues of dwindling customer demand, leading to a disappointing 2011 sales total of 30,107 – less than half its total just five years earlier.

Last month, Honda Australia director Stephen Collins said the local brand had an ambition to sell 40,000 vehicles this year, on the back of normalising production and the launch of three all-new models: Civic sedan (launched in February), Civic hatch (coming in July) and CR-V (coming in Q4).




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