Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan Motor and Mazda Motor restarted production at their Thai plants on Monday (14 November) after being forced to suspend operations for about a month because of flood damage to local suppliers, company officials said.

Toyota plans to restart on 21 November. Eight Japanese automakers operating in the country halted production following Thailand’s worst flooding in decades, Kyodo News said.

Of the eight, Honda is the only company whose four-wheel vehicle manufacturing plant has been flooded. But the seven other automakers have also halted production as many parts manufacturers suffered damage from the flooding, causing disruption to supply chains.

Honda said it restarted making some motorcycle models on Monday at its Bangkok plant which has escaped flood damage. But the automaker has no clear prospects of resuming output at its car plant in Ayutthaya because flooding there has continued, it said.

Disruption to parts supply forced Thai Honda Manufacturing to halt production of power products on 6 October and motorbikes on 11 October. Work at the car plant, in the central city of Ayutthaya, was halted on 4 October.

A Honda spokeswoman said the floodwaters at the Ayutthaya factory were still two metres deep and the company did not know when it would be able to resume production.

Mitsubishi, Nissan and Mazda managed to resume production by Monday by procuring parts through such alternative means as manufacturing them in Japan.

Mitsubishi Motors president Osamu Masuko, who visited Thailand last week to prepare for the resumption of output, told Kyodo: ”We have been able to restart production earlier than we thought thanks to efforts by parts manufacturers. ‘We’d like to redeem a loss in the past one month.”

MMC’s plant in Laem Chabang, southeast of Bangkok, was not damaged in the massive flooding but, because local parts suppliers were hit by the disaster, output at the plant had been put on hold since 13 October, the company said.

Late last month, Honda held off giving an earnings forecast for the year ending March 2012 as it continued to assess the impact on its operations of Thailand’s worst flooding in half a century.

Nissan said it resumed limited production at its plant in Samut Prakan, south of Bangkok, on Monday, after suspending work due to a parts shortage on 25 October.

In a statement issued in Tokyo, the company said it was strengthening flood defences at the plant.

Toyota said last week it would resume production from 21 November at its three Thai plants, which were forced to halt operations on 10 October.

The closures triggered a shortage of the automaker’s parts in Asia and as far away as North America and South Africa.

Analysts said the efforts of Japan’s automakers to restore production in the wake of the March earthquake and tsunami, which damaged facilities and crippled supply chains, could be undermined by the impact of the Thai disaster.