Japan earthquake: Toyota and Honda extend plant shutdowns image

Honda Motor Co said on Tuesday that it plans to extend its production suspension in Japan until March 27.

On the same time, Toyota Motor, the world’s largest automaker, said it will keep all of its 12 assembly plants in Japan closed at least through March 26.
Toyota has 27 plants in Japan producing vehicles or components. On Monday the company resumed production of spare parts to serve its overseas operations.
Regarding Toyota’s North American operations, so far the impact remains limited. All 13 North American vehicle and engine plants are running normally, although overtime has been curtailed to conserve parts that come from suppliers in Japan. Regarding dealerships in the U.S., inventories remain generally good.

Honda said that its assembly lines at Saitama and Suzuka — including production of the Fit and most of its hybrids for the U.S. — will remain closed until at least Sunday. Production of Honda bikes is also affected.

The company’s factories in North America have enough inventories to run through mid-April, while its South American and European plants can run until early May.

Japanese carmakers are expected to rebound once they restart production following the earthquake and tsunami which killed at least 18,000 people. But industry analysts say they will be hampered by power shortages and damage to roads.