Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Honda cuts output by 50,000

TOKYO - HONDA Motor Co said on Tuesday it is cutting production in Japan and North America by an additional 50,000 vehicles amid a severe slump in global sales.

Japan's No. 2 automaker said output in North America will fall by 29,000 units, affecting Honda's three plants in the region - Ontario, Canada; Marysville/East Liberty, Ohio; and Lincoln, Alabama.

Due to the production cuts, Honda's overall output in North America will drop by 12 per cent to 1.26 million units in the current fiscal year ending March 31.

'Amid a severe economic slowdown, our sales remained sluggish'.

We have to adjust our production accordingly. We have yet to see a recovery in the auto market,' Honda spokesman Yasuko Matsuura said.

The Ontario plant makes the popular Civic, while the Ohio and Alabama factories roll out the Accord sedan and Odyssey minivan.

Honda will also cut domestic production by a further 21,000 units. As a result, Honda's output in Japan will now stand at 1.15 million units, down 12 per cent year-on-year.

Like other Japanese automakers, Honda is being battered by the plunge in global auto demand after the US financial crisis struck last year.

It quit Formula One racing in December to focus on its core business of making and selling cars.

But the company's plants are being idled to curb production and reduce inventory amid a global downturn. Honda is putting 4,300 contract staff out of work in Japan by the end of April.

Honda did not disclose full-time workforce in North America.

Honda employs 185,000 full-time people around the world. -- AP
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