Pandemic, Cold-Wave, and Chip Shortage hit Honda and Toyota in North America

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Honda Motor Co., which has a total of 12 manufacturing plants in the USA and one in Canada, will suspend production at some of those plants in the coming week as the pandemic, severe winter weather, and a chip shortage have affected its supply chain, a company spokesperson said.

The spokesperson informed via phone on Wednesday according to Bloomberg that the Japanese company will halt work at plants in Marysville and East Liberty in Ohio, as well as others in Indiana, Alabama, and Ontario, potentially for a week. The exact volume of vehicles affected has not been specified. Honda manufactured a total of 1.45 million vehicles in North America last year, down 20% from 2019. 

Separately, another Japanese carmaker, Toyota Motor Corp., said the cold front had reduced the supply of petrochemical products that have, in turn, impacted production in the U.S. and Mexico. Spokeswoman Shiori Hashimoto said on Wednesday that some lines, shifts, or potentially entire plants are expected to be temporarily halted for several days in Kentucky, West Virginia, and Mexico without providing further details.

Automakers, who were already battling a shortage of semiconductors that are being gobbled up by consumer-electronics companies, have seen the bad weather add to their woes. Both the Japanese carmakers, Honda and Toyota, due to the lack of chips, already scaled back output at plants around the world earlier this year. A warning for a serious imbalance in the supply of chips has also been given by major tech companies.

Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co., which is a financial firm providing brokerage and banking services, has said the shortage could reduce Honda’s output by 300,000 units, while Toyota isn’t as reliant on foreign semiconductor companies so it is less affected.

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