The West Coast port labour dispute in the US will affect Toyota and Honda sales in coming weeks according to a Bloomberg News report on the Detroit News website.

Locked-out port workers yesterday (Thursday) completed their first full day back on the job after President Bush invoked the rarely used 1947 Taft-Hartley Act to open 29 ports. The law imposed a ‘cooling-off’ period that effectively ordered the port employers to open the gates and let the dockers get back to work.

Citing company vice president Don Esmond, Bloomberg News said Toyota - whose joint venture plant with GM in Fresno, California, idled assembly lines soon after the labour dispute erupted - probably would deliver about 50,000 fewer vehicles to US dealers this month because of the delays.

Bloomberg said Honda had already shut its Civic plant in East Liberty, Ohio and would close the Lincoln, Alabama, Odyssey minivan plant today (Friday).

An Alliston, Ontario production line in Canada would also be idled and sales affected by an undetermined amount, Bloomberg added, citing Honda spokesman Yuzuru Matsuno.