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THAI FLOODS: Nissan, Honda and Isuzu update resumption plans

By Graeme Roberts | 15 November 2011

Nissan Motor expects to resume full production at its Thai plant in early December from about 30-40% of normal now, senior vice president Hiroto Saikawa told Reuters in Japan on Tuesday.

Annual production in Thailand is 200,000 units and the automaker will have lost 40,000 units - 20% - from its Thai vehicle output due to the plant closure caused by flooding.

Nissan has called for the government to speed up the recovery and clean-up process at Nava Nakorn in Pathum Thani province where its suppliers are based. Once completed, the company would stop importing parts from other countries.

Meanwhile, Honda said it would provisionally normalise North American production on 1 and 2 Dec at six factories in Canada and the United States after curbing their operations since early November due to Thai parts supply chain disruptions. This is later than initially expected; the output cut was initially due to last until 23 November in the US and until 25 November in Canada.

Toyota ended a Thai flood-induced output adjustment in North America from this week, Kyodo News noted.

Honda said in a statement it would decide what to do regarding the North American operations from 3 December ''after examining'' developments relating to its Thai suppliers' situation.

The automaker still faces the possibility that supply disruptions will force it to curb North American operations for a long period after the provisional resumption in early December, industry observers said.

Honda began halving automobile output from North American plants in early November due to disruptions to supply of key electronics components.

Production at the plants has since remained disrupted although the automaker later hiked output at some plants.

Honda also said it would release the redesigned CR-V sport utility vehicle in mid-December as originally planned. Production commences on 29 November at its Ohio factory. UK production for Europe is not expected until late in 2012.

Also on Tuesday, Isuzu Motors said it plans to restart its Thai plant on 21 November instead of a previously stated 18 November.

It told Reuters output would depend on parts supply and logistics.