Honda to briefly suspend ‘most’ North America auto production

Washington, March 17 (AFP/APP): Japanese automaker Honda will be “suspending production” for one week at most of its plants in the United States and Canada due to factors that include a shortage of parts, the company said Tuesday.

The company is dealing with “a number of supply chain issues related to the impact from COVID-19, congestion at various ports, the microchip shortage and severe winter weather over the past several weeks,” especially in Texas, a Honda spokesperson in Japan told AFP.

“In some way, all of our auto plants in the US and Canada will be impacted, with most of the plants temporarily suspending production during the week of March 22,” the spokesperson said. Since the situation is “fluid,” the timing and length of “production adjustments could change.”

Even when production is suspended Honda workers will still be able to work at the impacted plants, the spokesman said. The Covid-19 pandemic has scrambled supply and demand patterns worldwide, leading to backups at major ports.

A shortage of silicon chips is also forcing automakers to cut back on production across the globe. Ford said it would drastically reduce output of its top-selling F-150 truck because of the shortage of semiconductors, while General Motors has announced it will suspend work at three North American factories.

With microchips in strong demand across various industries — especially as sales of computers exploded during lockdowns — chip makers have turned their attention to other clients. US President Joe Biden has promised to address the problem and to make supply chains safer and more reliable by increasing the production of certain key elements in the United States.

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