Chip Shortage, Bad Weather Hit Honda and Toyota in North America

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Honda Motor Co. will suspend production at some plants in the U.S. and Canada next week as the pandemic, a chip shortage and severe winter weather have affected its supply chain, a company spokesperson said.

The carmaker 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 spokesperson said by phone Wednesday, without specifying the volume of vehicles affected. Honda made 1.45 million vehicles in North America last year, down 20% from 2019. The Japanese company has 12 manufacturing plants in the U.S. and one in Canada.

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Separately, Toyota Motor Corp. said the cold front has reduced supply of petrochemical products, impacting production in the U.S. and Mexico. Some lines, shifts or potentially entire plants are expected to be temporarily halted for several days in Kentucky, West Virginia and Mexico, spokeswoman Shiori Hashimoto said Wednesday, without providing further details.

The bad weather has added to disruptions for automakers already battling a shortage of semiconductors, which are being gobbled up by consumer-electronics companies trying to meet an increase in demand from users stuck at home during the pandemic. Both Honda and Toyota already scaled back output at plants around the world earlier this year due to the lack of chips. Major tech companies have also warned about a serious imbalance in supply.

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Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. has said the shortage could reduce Honda’s output by 300,000 units, while Toyota is less affected because it isn’t as reliant on foreign semiconductor companies.

Honda slid as much as 1.8% in Tokyo on Wednesday, the most in a week. Toyota pared a 1.6% loss and was little changed as of 2:27 p.m.

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