Honda extends production shutdown

Honda's shutdown of car and motorcycle production in Japan has been extended until Sunday as component supply remained under pressure amid the national crisis.

The devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11 forcedHonda to temporarily suspend production at its plants, but it was expected to resume this week.

The manufacturer has now announced that the extension will apply to its vehicle factories in Saitama and Suzuka and its motorcycle plant in Kumamoto.

Power shortages and squeezed spare parts supply following the twin disasters have hit several car manufacturers.

Toyota said it has been able to restart production of some parts, but is yet to take a decision on resuming manufacturing activities at 11 factories in the country.

Fuji Heavy Industries, which makes Subaru models, has also extended the suspension at five car factories. But it expects to begin making components for foreign production as well as spare parts in a day or two.

Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors were able to restart work at some of their factories using existing stock of parts.

Japanese carmakers are expected to rebound once they restart production following the quake and tsunami which killed at least 18,000 people. But industry analysts say they will be hampered by power shortages and damage to roads.

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