Honda Slows North American Production Over West Coast Ports Dispute

Feb 16, 2015 05:30 PM EST | Matt Mercuro

Honda will slow production at some of its North American plants due to a parts shortage caused by a partial shutdown of West Coast ports.

The automaker expects shortages at its Ontario, Canada and Ohio, Indiana operations starting on Monday as each plant will adjust production between Feb. 16 and Feb. 23, spokesman Mark Morrison said to Reuters.   

Ports on the U.S. West Coast are basically in a gridlock over a labor dispute between dockworkers and the group representing terminal operators and shippers.

Other automaker have already been transporting important parts from Asia to the U.S. plants via airplanes as a result of the labor dispute.

Honda made its announcement the same day company CEO Takanobu Ito said the automaker is cutting its six-million vehicle sale targets through 2017 to avoid quality issues.

Honda had to deal with a number of recalls in 2014, the most glaring example being vehicles with Takata air bags. Nearly 5.4 million of Honda vehicles in the U.S. contain potentially deadly air bags made by the parts supplier. The automaker had to pay $70 million to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last year for failing to submit 1,729 safety reports, according to the agency.

Toyota has reduced overtime at some of its factories in North America, while Nissan has been "somewhat" affected by the slowdown on the West Coast, according to Reuters.

"However, since about 85 percent of Nissan's U.S. sales volume is from vehicles manufactured at plants in North America, and the localization rate of parts in the region is high, we believe there will be minimal impact on Nissan's operations," Nissan spokesman David Reuter said to Reuters.

President Barack Obama dispatched U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez to California on Saturday to help broker an agreement between dock workers and shipping companies.

"We do not have a sufficient supply of several critical parts to keep the production lines running smoothly and efficiently. These parts include a small number of critical parts such as electronics, and some larger assemblies such as transmissions," Morrison said. Honda plants expected to slow production of models including the Civic, CR-V, Accord and Acura, Morrison said.

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