Honda Motor has halved the rate of vehicle production in the Philippines in response to parts shortages caused by last month’s devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Honda Cars Philippines assembles the Civic and City models for the local market, while the CRV, Accord and Jazz are imported from Thailand. All models depend on components produced in Japan.

Automakers in the Philippines expect the supply chain disruption to affect their operations until at least the third quarter of 2011, with parts shortages and higher prices.

Vehicle output in the Philippines until now has not been affected, with manufacturers working with existing inventory. But some disruption is expected to take place from April onwards.

Honda Motor is particularly exposed to last month's devastation with a large number of suppliers located near the affected areas in north-eastern Japan. The company restarted parts production for overseas vehicle assembly yesterday (4 April) and expects to resume complete vehicle production at the Sayama and Suzuka plants on 11 April.