March 29, 2011 / 10:03 PM / in 7 years

Honda to cut output at U.S., Canadian auto plants

DETROIT (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co 7267.T will cut production at its U.S. and Canadian automotive plants starting Wednesday due to disruptions in the supply of auto parts after the Japanese earthquake more than two weeks ago.

<p>A Honda sign is seen at a building damaged by the March 11 tsunami in Kesennuma town, Miyagi Prefecture, March 23, 2011. REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

The temporary changes to the production schedule will vary plant by plant based on the availability of certain parts, Honda spokesman Jeffrey Smith said. He declined to detail the changes in production at individual plants.

The automaker operates plants in Canada and three states in the United States. Honda relies on North American suppliers for more than 80 percent of the parts it uses to build vehicles in North America.

Honda has suspended production at its two plants in Japan until at least April 3. Smith said most of the company’s Japan-based parts suppliers have resumed production or are ready to start.

“This is a very fluid situation,” Smith said. He added: “We are working with a few suppliers who have yet to resume production to reestablish operations and at the same time, we are evaluating additional sources for some parts.”

The March 11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in northern Japan have left the global auto industry struggling to manage a ripple effect across its production and supply base.

Earlier Tuesday, Toyota Motor Corp TM.N7203.T told its dealers to curtail orders of certain replacement parts to ensure an adequate supply.

Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman; Editing by Gary Hill

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