Thai Flood Worse Than Earthquake, Tsunami, And Nuclear Meltdown

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

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.”

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • Buickman Buickman on Oct 30, 2011

    worse than environmental disasters is bad management. Honda will recover, GM can't.

    • See 2 previous
    • VA Terrapin VA Terrapin on Oct 30, 2011

      What's good for GM is good for the country.... As long as GM employs lots of Americans, the Federal Government can always have taxpayers take of of GM.

  • Robert Schwartz Robert Schwartz on Oct 30, 2011

    It is God's punishment for the Crosstour.

    • See 5 previous
    • Eldard Eldard on Oct 31, 2011

      @alluster I actually like the Crosstour. But then again I won't accept anything below a CamCord, Altima, etc.

  • Probert A few mega packs would probably have served as decent backup.
  • Lou_BC Lead sleds. Now-a-days GM would just use Bondo.
  • Jrhurren This is a great series. Thanks Corey
  • Tane94 Not as stylish as the Soul which it is replacing but a practical shape and bonus points for EV only.
  • Ronin What is the magical white swan event in the foreseeable future that will suddenly reverse the trend?Success tends to follow success, and likewise failure. The perception, other than among true believers, is that e-cars are a lost cause. Neither government fiat, nor government bribery, nor even the promise of superior virtue among one's peers have been enough to push past the early adapter curve. Either the bust-out is right now for e-cars, or it doesn't happen. Marketing 101.Even subtle language-manipulation, such as deeming those possessing common sense as suffering from some sort of vague anxiety (eg, "range anxiety") has not been enough to induce people to care.Twenty years from now funny AI-generated comedians will make fun of the '20s, and their obsession with theose silly half-forgotten EVs. They will point out that, yes, EVs actually ran on electricity generated by such organic fuels as coal and natural gas after all, and then they will perform synthesized laughter at us.