Honda expects normal output by March as parts supplies resume



Honda Siel Cars India expects to resume normal output by March after losing about six months of production this ongoing fiscal due to component supply disruptions following tsunami in Japan and flood in Thailand last year.

The company that has already started rolling out about 1,000 units of its mid-sized sedan City this month will start ramping up production for other models like hatchbacks Brio and Jazz in the next two to three months.

"In this ongoing fiscal we have lost about six months of production due to disruption in supply of components following the tsunami in Japan and floods in Thailand. Now we have found alternate source from Japan and China," Honda Siel Cars India Senior Vice-President (Marketing & Sales) Jsnaneswar Sen told PTI.

By March the company's production capability should reach the normal level, he added.

"Our Greater Noida plant has an annual capacity of 1.2 lakh units. Our expectation is that in terms of our capability to produce cars, we could reach 10,000 units a month by March -April as part supplies are getting restored but how much we produce will depend on market demand," Sen said.

He further said the company will reach full production of the hatchback Brio by the middle of next month which will be followed by the Jazz.

"As far as the market is concerned, the current response is encouraging but we need to wait and watch other macro-economic factors," Sen said.

Asked if the company planned to launch new models in 2012 to boost volumes, he said: "Our priority is to deliver to all the waiting customers for our cars. We have not planned any new models for this year".

The Brio has about 8,000 pending orders though 2,000 units have been delivered so far, he added.

HSCI had cut production at its Greater Noida plant by about 50% from May, 2011 following shortage of components due to the impact of the Tsunami that hit Japan in March last year.

Later on, the floods in Thailand that started in July 2011 had also severely crippled component supplies giving the company a double blow.

Sen also said the decision to start rolling out cars from the company's second plant at Tapukara in Rajasthan will be taken as soon as HSCI is able to utilise the full capacity at the Greater Noida plant.