Flooded Honda plant in Thailand back online

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Honda's Thailand plant, rocked by recent flooding, is back online. Image: brendan-c/Flickr/CC BY

Honda’s manufacturing plant in Ayutthaya, Thailand, went back into operation on Monday. The re-opening comes after nearly half a year of being shut down because of the devastating floods that shook the Asian nation in the fall.

Honda says 260,000 cars lost

Thailand was a victim of terrible flooding last October. The natural disaster put a temporary kibosh on the nation’s one-time-robust automotive manufacturing industry. Now, according to a report from Reuters, the Honda Thailand plant — which was arguably the worst hit by the disaster — is back online and ready to start producing more cars. All in all, the Japanese-based automaker says it lost 260,000 vehicles from its anticipated fiscal year that ended earlier in March.

The auto plant is re-opening ahead of Honda’s previously announced plans. The automaker said in January that it would not be up and running again until April.

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Only automaker in the flood zone

Many auto parts suppliers were shut down because of the floods, which created hardships for many automakers. However, some other Asian automakers — such as Nissan and Toyota — were able to get needed suppliers from other nations. But Honda was the only automaker with a manufacturing plant located in the devastating flood zone.

Hundreds of cars scrapped

Honda’s plant in Ayutthaya makes the Brio, a version of the compact model the Fit, for the Australian and Asian markets. Honda announced that it would not use any of its water-damaged inventory after the floods receded last fall. That decision, however, necessitated the automaker scrapping hundreds of vehicles.

Production resumed on Monday

Since Honda’s Thailand division has been unable to produce cars, Honda in Japan has been shipping some of its inventory to other Asian nations that are normally supplied by the Thailand plant. However, all of that is about to change as production started up again on Monday.

A Honda spokesperson said Monday:

“As of today, all production plants have resumed production and are expected to normalize in April.”

Supplier resumes shipping parts

In a related story, Honda Siel Cars India said that it resumed shipping Brio auto parts to Honda’s Thailand plant.

A spokesperson for Honda Siel Cars India reported:

“We have resumed supply of all Brio parts to Thailand. This was stopped from October last year after the flood affected  productions completely there.”

Honda Siel Cars India ships a total of 54 parts for the Brio.


Economic Times

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