Honda suspends motorcycle production


Category: Dailies

Effective immediately, production has been halted at Honda’s Hamamatsu motorcycle factory. Tomorrow, the production facility in Kumamoto will be closed as well. The move is part of a wave of post-earthquake measures that will see Honda’s other Japanese facilities closed, including the R facility in Tochigi where one employee was killed in last week’s 8.9 magnitude quake.

Update: Suzuki is also closing all factories in Japan through the 17th.

Honda is also donating $3.6 million to “the relief and recovery effort” as well as 1,000 generators and 5,000 gas canisters.

The Hamamatsu factory — a 390-mile drive south of Sendai where earthquake and tsunami damage was worst — was originally built in 1954 and now produces flagship models like the CBR600RR and CBR1000RR. The Kumamoto factory, which now makes the Goldwing, is over 500 miles further south.

Plant closures come amid energy shortages in Japan which are seeing rolling blackouts affect the country. In addition to fuel shortages caused by a damaged infrastructure, damage to nuclear power plants has been severe, impacting the country’s ability to provide electricity.

Honda intends to re-open Kumamoto on the 20th, there’s no word on when Hamamatsu might return to production.

You can help by donating to the Japanese Red Cross.


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