It took Honda factories just a few weeks to recover from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan with the force of 31,250 Hiroshima-Nagasaki nuclear bombs (if some scientists are right.) Once parts came in, all Honda factories were ready to make cars again. Now, Honda faces a more devastating disaster – caused by plain rainwater. Honda will have to keep its Thai factory closed for half a year once the flood waters recede, The Nikkei [sub] writes. Honda’s total production loss is expected to exceed 100,000 units, accounting for about 3 percent of Honda’s global output.
Honda’s factory in the Rojana Industrial Park in the city of Ayutthaya, is submerged under floodwaters as high as ten feet. Being inaccessible, the extent of the damage is unclear. Honda officials think that large parts of the plant need to be revamped once the floodwaters recede, which is not expected until mid November at the earliest.
Japan’s eight automakers have operations in Thailand, Honda is the only one whose facilities have been directly damaged by the floods. All makers suffer from parts shortages. Says the Wall Street Journal:
“Japan’s manufacturers still recovering from the triple disasters of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown now have to contend with a fourth crisis: Floods in Thailand. For the companies involved, it may be the biggest problem of them all.”
“The timing of the floods could hardly be worse. Japan’s auto and electronics industries are just getting back on their feet after the disruption caused by March’s unprecedented disasters. This has meant lost sales and market share, especially in markets such as the U.S. where competitors from South Korea and elsewhere like Hyundai Motor have been quick to step in.”