Thai Floods: Honda to restart car production in Thailand image

Honda Motor Co. Ltd plans to restart production in Thailand on March 26, national broadcaster NHK said on its website Thursday.

Honda Motor Co. stopped making cars at its automobile assembly plant in Ayutthaya, north of Bangkok, in October after it was damaged in the worst floods to hit Thailand in 50 years.

Among Japan’s automakers, Honda Motor Co. has been the worst hit by the Thai flooding — a disaster that arrived just as automakers were recovering from the production slide caused by the March 11 tsunami in northeastern Japan that wiped out parts suppliers.

The flooding also disrupted the output at many Honda suppliers in Thailand, forcing it to reduce production as far away as the U.S. and Canada.

Annual production at Honda fell for the second time in three years, declining 20 percent to 2.91 million units in 2011.

In other related news, Thailand’s cabinet on Tuesday approved a 24.8 billion baht ($809 million) budget for 246 projects as part of the government’s flood prevention measures aimed at winning back investor confidence.

“The loan request had been approved. The finance ministry will be handling further proceedings on the loan in accordance to the required protocols,” Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra told reporters after the cabinet’s meeting.

Thai GDP shrank 10.7 per cent in October-December last year from the previous quarter, official figures showed last month.

For the whole of 2011, Thailand’s economy expanded by 0.1 per cent, after an increase of 7.8 per cent in 2010.