Japanese Parts Paralysis: Honda UK Goes To Half Power

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
japanese parts paralysis honda uk goes to half power

Living with container transit times in your head, you know when the parts pipeline from Japan to overseas locations should run dry. Japan to Europe is about four weeks. And exactly 4 weeks after the tsunami hit in Tohoku, Honda will set its Swindon plant in the UK to max conserve. According to Reuters, Honda will reduce its UK output by half, starting on April 11.

Once parts supplies have stabilized, full production will resume.

That, however could be a while off. Like the other majors, Honda will begin production in Japan on March 11. Most likely, Honda will go slow at home. The Japanese industry battles with parts outages and missing parts. All eyes of the industry are on the Japanese factories and how they will do in the coming weeks. And in any case, once the pipeline starts to fill, it will take a month again for parts coming out at the other end.

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  • ClutchCarGo ClutchCarGo on Apr 06, 2011
    "And in any case, once the pipeline starts to fill, it will take a month again for parts coming out at the other end." I've heard several times that the parts shortages stopping production are often just a few items per car. If so, couldn't those parts be air freighted while the containers sail?

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    • Westcott Westcott on Apr 06, 2011

      It also may affect assemby. Some parts have to be installed before others just for physics sake. QC would be kind of hard to implement. Logistics. Tools required. Well, you get the idea.

  • Bryan Scholtes Bryan Scholtes on Apr 06, 2011

    What do you guys think of the used Japanese market? I'm looking for a used Honda Fit, and am afraid this will inflate the prices even more.

    • Roundel Roundel on Apr 06, 2011

      Just look at what has happened to average transaction prices for new Prii last month. They went from near to below invoice to about $1000 over MSRP. This will happen to all cars if they wear a Japanese brand. Cars like the Fit, especially because they are imports will probably have some kind of increase in transaction cost. Now is the time to buy if you really want it. Maybe a Hecho en Mexico Versa will sustain less damage in terms of price increase, but who knows they some of those parts come from. Damn globalization.

  • Greenb1ood Greenb1ood on Apr 06, 2011

    This may lead in the short-term to sourcing strategies that include dual sources for critical components. Then after a while, everyone will forget about this lesson and get back to "fill up the capacity of a single supplier for volume reductions!" Anyone interested isending their kids to college for a profession that will become increasingly more in demand for talent over the next 20 years, look no further than Supply Chain Management, Purchasing, and Logistics. Welcome to the global economy and the risk associated with predictably unpredictable Black Swan events.

  • Norma Norma on Apr 06, 2011

    Chrysler cancelled overtime this week at plants in Canada and Mexico to conserve parts from Japan. Its Brampton, Ontario, plant make Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 vehicles. The Toluca, Mexico, plant makes its Dodge Journey and the Fiat 500, which Chrysler is now introducing to the U.S. market. Meanwhile, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada said it is inevitable that it will be forced to temporarily shut down its plants because of parts shortages from Japan.