Honda Motor Co is to cut production in the US as falling sales and the country’s economic turmoil continue to play havoc on the auto industry there. The news follows announcements of production cuts by the Japanese giant in the UK and on its domestic market.

Honda said today (21 November) that it would lower its US production by another 18,000 vehicles. The move will see its total output to the year ending March 2009 falling by 56,000 units to 1,412,000.

The reductions include 12,000 light trucks at its Lincoln, Alabama, plant and 6,000 vehicles at factories in Marysville and East Liberty, Ohio, a spokesman for Honda was quoted saying today.

In October, Honda announced that its first half consolidated operating income fell 27.1% to JPY370.1bn as currency effects, rising raw material costs and increased expenses affected results. Consolidated net sales and other operating revenue fell 3.5% to JPY5,694.0bn.

Vehicle sales rose just 0.7% in the period.

Earlier today, just-auto reported that Honda is to idle its Swindon, UK, car plant for two months next year as part of a global production.

In addition to the 32,000 units production adjustment between December 2008 and March 2009 that had previously been announced, production at Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd (HUM) will be lowered by a further 21,000 units by the cessation of production for two months during February and March.

The measure takes 29 days’ production out and is on top of 13 non-production days already announced.
Total automobile production in the UK plant (which makes the Civic and CRV) for the current fiscal year, which was originally announced as 228,000 units at the beginning of the fiscal year, will be adjusted to 175,000 units, Honda said.

The company said there are no plans for redundancies.

Honda also said on Friday it would cut car output in Japan by 40,000 vehicles bringing planned domestic production to 1.278 million units in the business year to March 31, or down 1% from last year.