Honda Warns U.S. Dealers of Civic Shortage

Honda Motor Co. warned U.S. dealers Monday that it will run short of popular models such as the Civic compact later this summer because of parts shortages caused by Japan's earthquake.

It said normal production may not return until the end of the year.

Honda will significantly cut production of the new 2012 Civic, the sixth most popular car in the U.S., through the summer, if not longer.

In addition, the 2012 version of the CR-V small SUV will be delayed by at least a month this fall. To make up for shortages, Honda will keep making the 2011 version.

Both vehicles are made in North America, but like other automakers, Honda must cut production because it's running low on Japanese imports of chips, sensors and other parts. Japanese plants that supply them were damaged by the March 11 earthquake or hampered by power outages.

Nearly every major auto company has had to idle factories due to shortages. Honda, Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. have been hit particularly hard. Supply companies are scrambling to build their parts elsewhere, but setting up alternate factories takes months.

Honda, which makes 80 percent of the vehicles sold in North American at plants in the region, also said it will be able to import only a limited number of Japan-built cars in the U.S. That means dealers won't be able to order the Fit subcompact, and the CR-Z, Insight and Civic gas-electric hybrids until later in the year.

"Our goal remains to normalize overall production sometime around the end of the year," John Mendel, executive vice president of sales for American Honda, wrote in the dealer memo.

Shortages also will cut supply of some Acuras, Honda's luxury cars. Dealers won't be able to order the TSX small car and wagon and the RL large sedan until later in the year, the memo said.

The shortages come at a time when gasoline in the U.S. is hitting $4 a gallon in 13 states. That normally drives up sales of fuel-efficient models from Honda and Toyota.

Honda spokeswoman Christina Ra conceded that the production cuts could send some buyers to other brands, but she said some buyers might be willing to wait.

"We can certainly beef up production once things get back to normal," she said.

Honda sold nearly 67,000 Civics through March, up 21 percent from last year. Sales of the CR-V, which ranks No. 11 in U.S. sales, were up 58 percent to just over 57,000 through March.

Some industry analysts think production cuts by Japanese automakers could help General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Hyundai and other automakers that have not been hit as hard by parts shortages.

GM, Ford and Hyundai have far better entries in the compact car market than in past years, and buyers who would automatically have bought a Honda or Toyota may end up trying other brands.

Mendel's memo said Honda would have to stop taking orders for some paint colors due to lack of a certain shiny pigment made only in Japan. Ra said the colors are types of red, blue, dark gray and white.

Last month Honda said it would slow down production at its 10 U.S. and Canadian auto factories into at least early May because of shortages. The company still says none of its 21,000 North American factory workers will be laid off. Toyota has made similar moves in North America.

Separately, a Toyota engine factory in Huntsville, Ala., remains closed for lack of electricity. Alabama was devastated by tornadoes on Wednesday, and company spokesman Mike Goss said Toyota isn't sure when the plant will reopen.

The plant makes engines for the Tundra and Tacoma pickups, and the Sequoia SUV.

Goss said factories that assemble the trucks have not been affected so far. The pickups are made in San Antonio, Texas, while the Sequoia is made in Princeton, Ind.

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It don't hurt my feelings any... BUY AMERICAN

May 04 2011 at 7:20 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Check out a Chevy Cruze--great gas mileage, and its American!

May 03 2011 at 11:21 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Time to buy American once again. I know these are made in the USA , but times are a changing...

May 03 2011 at 10:14 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Arnie's comment

GM or Ford. American for over 100 years.

May 03 2011 at 10:50 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to harleydavid105's comment

Unless you count the Fords built in England, Germany, Australia, Mexico...I can say the same thing for GM as well. Yes, MANY but far from ALL of them are cars built for their local market. But even so...why weren't THOSE cars if they are American brands built in America? Please explain.

I already pointed out in a few threads how your computer and anything else you own that's electronic is either Asian, or built from mostly or all Asian parts, but I digress.

I forget if it was you or someone else who mentioned having a Chrysler Sebring as an aside. Which unless it's newer then the 2007 model year it was probably built in a factory jointly owned by Chrysler and Mitsubishi....American Indeed..that Sebring.

May 04 2011 at 4:10 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down

Anyone who is willing to pay as much as sticker price is a fool and deserves what he or she gets. If a person can't wait a little while, then so be it.

May 03 2011 at 6:02 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to PeopleSmoks's comment

I agree with you 100%.............One can only hope that in the future that Americans will DEMAND energy-efficient, well-made cars (even if they last for 10-15 years)....! The old days of buying a new car every other year may very well be a thing of the past! If one wishes for technology and luxury, and can afford the price, that is fine!.........Many americans desire 'functional, fuel-efficiency and longevity' of their purshased vehicles!

May 03 2011 at 7:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You republicans complain about our debt, which the GOP under bush jr. saddled us with. So you want to buy foreign and send your money overseas. I am proud to say I always buy American. We should take pride in our country and always buy American no matter what we shop for.

May 03 2011 at 5:26 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to toosmart4u's comment

Actually, the Pelosi/ Reid congress of 2007 doubled the deficit that was in Bush's proposed budget. Bush's proposed budget for 2007 did have a $268billion deficit, which INCLUDED funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pelosi and Reid managed to spend an additional $600billion thru leveraging the military expenditures and tacking on a bunch of lib crap to every military bill put before Bush to sign.

May 03 2011 at 6:07 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to PeopleSmoks's comment

Much of the costs of the Iraq war and the Afghanistan war until the Fiscal Year 2008 have been funded through supplemental appropriations or emergency supplemental appropriations, which are treated differently than regular appropriations bills......... Senior congressional leaders have contended that those war costs, as much as possible, should go through the regular budget process, which provides for greater transparency. Determining the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is complex......The CBO had even estimated that 'war-related defense activities' in 2007 were roughly $115 billion...........Get it???.......'War Related', much less the real cost of the war!

May 03 2011 at 6:42 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down

Just two policies dating from ex-president cheney's administration cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan....accounted for over $500 billion of the deficit in 2009 and will account for almost $7 trillion in deficits in 2009 through 2019, including the associated debt-service costs.......The prescription drug benefit enacted in 2003 accounts for further substantial increases in deficits and debt, which we are unable to quantify due to data limitations.....These impacts easily dwarf the stimulus and financial rescues. Furthermore, unlike those temporary costs, these inherited policies (especially the tax cuts and the drug benefit) do not fade away as the economy recovers............That, my friend; is called 'Long-Term' baggage!!!

May 03 2011 at 7:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

ooooh please,get over yourself and the diM lib scatology---economy tanked the minute momma pelosi picked up HER bawney rubble sized gavel in the hOUse and then the morons over in the FHA hud etc killed the housing and banking---then the bailouts===n'obama more than TRIPLED what dabuuuush DID --then the envirOMentals etc etc we all thank the diM progressiveS as THEY ARE THE ONES RESPONSIBLE.

May 03 2011 at 10:25 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to priority109's comment

and while you're ALL at it why don't you learn HOW the government works and who appropriates funding and approves spending ????and what a vetO is and what an override does etc.

May 03 2011 at 10:28 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down

I'm glad I still have my 1999 Civic (which was manufactured in Marysville, Ohio). It gets a realtime 25 mpg in the city and 32mpg on the highway...I don't envy my truck based SUV owning friends.

May 03 2011 at 4:31 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mugletsdad's comment

It was assembled, not manufactured, of imported Japanese parts. The profits from that vehicle, were sent back to Japan, and helped pay for their health care. The money you sent to Japan, will never come back to the USA as they import nothing from us except for a few raw materials. How proud you must be.

May 03 2011 at 10:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to galbraith1065's comment

How right you are.

May 03 2011 at 11:17 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down

@galbraith1065: The computer you used to type out that comment was made by parts mostly or completly made in various Asian countries. The CPU, be it Intel, AMD or if it's a really old machine something like a Cyrux was more likely then not made in a fab not in the USA. The motherboard is probably from Taiwan, the individual chips on it from Taiwan, mainland China and/or Japan. The power supply, probably a Chinese or Taiwanese company, maybe a Japanese company, even if supplied by an American one the individual parts are probably from Taiwan or Japan and were assembled in an Asian country. And so on, so forth. HOW PROUD YOU MUST BE to be using such Asian technology.

Want to NOT be a hypocrite? Sell your computer. Even if it's a Dell or HP or Gateway, they just order in parts from guess what, various Asian countries for most of the parts other then the CPU. Or they have a motherboard custom made by GUESS WHAT, an Asian company. Dell likes to use Foxconn a lot. Foxconn is in Taiwan.

Need I continue? Again, unless you're a hypocrite get rid of your computer. It's foreign. Good job, money got sent to a FOREIGN company.

How proud YOU must be. :P

Now, about your TV, and most other electronics you may own....

May 04 2011 at 2:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down

Sure....go get a Chevy or Dodge. (But save your money to get a REAL car when Civics are plentiful again!)

May 03 2011 at 4:01 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply

Hang on to the ones you've got. Civics run for decades.

May 03 2011 at 3:42 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to snugfitstudio's comment

So does my Chevy pickup and my Chrysler Sebring with 280k miles on it.

May 03 2011 at 10:58 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to galbraith1065's comment

Oh..a Chrysler Sebring you say. Is it older then a 2007? Most likely it is. Means it was probably made at the Diamond Star Motors factory in Normal, Illinois. Yes, yes..that is in the USA obviously. But..GUESS WHAT..that factory is part of a PARTNERSHIP with Mitsubishi. I do believe..oh I don't know, Mitsubishi is based in...Japan, correct? And I DO know that the ones from the 90's were using Mitsubishi engineered engines that were shared with some models of..GUESS WHAT, the Mitsubishi Eclipse. I think the Sebrings up to 2006 still shared some parts with the same model year Eclipse as well. Good job, you in your quest to buy American gave money in part to a Japanese corporation. How proud you must be... :P

May 04 2011 at 2:48 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down

Hey kids...where did everybody go?

May 03 2011 at 3:39 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

Stocks down. From the looks of it. Wall St. not buying tbe Bin Laden fairy tale!

May 03 2011 at 3:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply