BRAZIL: Honda, new Civic launch, hit by parts shortage
New Civic sedan launched in Detroit last January has had Brazilian production and launch postponed
Among Japanese automakers with Brazilian factories, Honda has, by far, been the most affected by the 11 March earthquake/tsunami in Japan.
Though the motorcycle factory in Manaus, state of Amazonas capital, was unaffected, the car plant which builds the Civic, Fit [Jazz] has curtailed output for months.
The Sumaré factory, 72 miles north west of São Paulo City, has taken extensive measures to trim production to the reduced parts supply from Japan.
Enforced vacations were considered first but, following tiring negotiations with the union, the company – for the first time since the plant opened in 1997 – laid off 400 people, some 12% of work force.
Production is halved for the rest of 2011, meaning the remaining work force will be partially idle.
The start of sales of the redesigned Civic, scheduled for the second half, has been postponed and this is expected to have a large negative effect on Honda Brazil's financial results for 2011.
The new model was launched at the Detroit show in January and this has affected sales of the current 'Mark VIII' model as buyers hold off for the redesigned line.
To make things worse, Honda recently inaugurated its new Campana, Greater Buenos Aires, manufacturing plant, in neighbouring Argentina and that, too, is affected by a shortage of components from Japan.
In contrast, Toyota has been little affected by supply shortages for the Corollas it builds in Brazil and the Hilux trucks made in Argentina.