Honda is continuing to adjust its production schedules in the wake of the March 11 earthquake in Japan, and the shuffling will reportedly continue at U.S. plants as well.
The plan is to run full production shifts at U.S. facilities on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from May 9 through July 1, with a single eight-hour shift added for Thursdays. With the exception of Honda's Greensburg, IN plant, all U.S. facilities were running two shifts prior to parts shortages. Workers at these facilities reportedly won't feel the pinch of the abbreviated production schedules either, as they will have the choice of staying home or completing training without a pay penalty.
Honda spokesperson Ed Miller reportedly told Automotive News the reason for the shift is that it's more efficient to run operations that way. The automaker likely won't make any decisions about U.S. production beyond July 1 until the situation is more clear.
On Monday, Honda announced it was suspending June and July dealer orders for the CR-Z, Civic Hybrid, Fit, Acura TSX and Acura RL. Those vehicles are built in Japan, where shortages are still severe. At this point, the Japanese automaker is expecting operations to return to normal production before the end of the year.
This is all very bad news for Honda, and it's bad for consumers as well. It appears that Honda showrooms are likely to be very short on product for an extended period of time.