Having mostly recovered from production halts caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, Honda says vehicle production at all but one of its North American factories will return to 100-percent by August; that one exception is the new 2012 Honda Civic, which will continue to be produced at just 50-percent capacity until the fall of this year or later.
The natural disaster hit Japan just as Honda was launching the new Civic. The company says production volume is limited due to shortages of supplies and components critical to the new car. Honda hopes the situation will improve “sometime in the fall” so that the company can ramp up production and meet demand for the 2012 Civic.
About 95 percent of Honda Civics sold in the U.S. are built in North America at plants in Greensburg, Indiana and Alliston, Ontario. The Civic Hybrid continues to be assembled in Japan. In 2010, the Civic was Honda’s second most popular vehicle in the U.S. market, with 260,218 sales, behind only the Accord.
According to Automotive News, the 2012 Civic was especially hard-hit by Japanese supply disruptions because many of the parts for the overhauled model were not as readily available. “There are many, many more new and redesigned parts in a car that's all new,” Honda spokesman Ed Miller told AN.
AN reports that Honda told dealers it was running short of supplies of the new Civic as the summer approached. That likely spells bad news for Honda, as competitors like Ford and Hyundai have a range of new fuel-efficient small cars on sale this summer, which are attracting customers as gas prices creep higher.
Sources: Honda, Automotive News