Thai Floods: Automotive industry down for at least one more week image

Thailand’s devastating flood crisis deepened Tuesday morning after the water entered Bangkok’s Don Muang airport halting flights and threatening the main depot from flying emergency supplies to inundated areas in northern Thailand.

Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Aiport, the country’s main international gateway, has yet to be affected by flooding and flights continue to operate normally.

Official estimates indicate that 1.6 million hectares, or 12.5% the total rice farmland has been damaged in Thailand alone.

Reuters reports that some 356 people have been killed and 113,000 have been forced to live in makeshift shelters.

Honda, probably the most affected automaker, on Tuesday said it has halted all its operations in Malaysia due to parts shortage caused by the floods in Thailand.

Supplies from Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co. Ltd and other major suppliers which supply to Honda Malaysia have been interrupted because of the floods.

The automaker has brought in 200 soldiers to secure its motorcycle plant in Bangkok, Thailand’s. Honda’s automotive factory in the Ayutthaya province has already overflowed, so the soldiers were brought in using personal ties to build a levy around a motorcycle facility.

Toyota stopped production at the three plants from October 10 as some suppliers were severely damaged by the nation’s worst flooding in decades, causing delays in supplying parts.

The automaker said on Monday it will reduce production hours at its plants in Japan at least through Friday to cope with expected shortages of some parts from its Thailand operations.

“Currently, recovery efforts are being made on a company-wide basis, based on a close observation of the supply chain situation,” Toyota said.

“A decision on production from October 31 onwards will be based on a close observation of the situation as it develops,” it said.

The floods have shuttered more than 14,000 businesses in a country that makes about a quarter of the world’s hard-disk drives and serves as the Southeast Asian production hub for Japanese car makers.

“The rising flood waters have hurt all Japanese auto manufacturers and many electronics firms, either directly at flooded plants or via affected parts suppliers,” Moody’s said in its Weekly Credit Outlook. The floods will cost Thailand 2 percent of its gross domestic product this year, it said.