Flooding in Thailand has begun making serious waves in the U.S. According to a press release, the disaster will force Honda to scale back production at facilities across the U.S. and Canada in coming weeks, and there's a distinct possibility that the automaker will miss its December launch window for the 2012 CR-V.
The Thai floods began raging months ago, and although they haven't generated much news coverage here in the U.S., we're definitely feeling their effects. Toyota brought U.S. production to a halt last weekend due to parts shortages, and the company has fully idled production at three facilities in Thailand itself. Toyota has also warned that until production in Thailand returns to normal, supplies of the 2012 Toyota Prius may be scarce.
Honda has shuttered all of its factories in Thailand, and company representatives say that those plants may not open again for six months. On this side of the Pacific, production at Honda's six facilities across the U.S. and Canada will be rolled back to 50% of normal output from tomorrow through November 10, with subsequent "adjustments" to be announced. At the moment, Honda doesn't expect to institute any layoffs at North American facilities.
What's more, Honda has hinted that the December arrival of the 2012 Honda CR-V may be pushed back. According to the release, "The December on-sale date of the all-new 2012 Honda CR-V could potentially be delayed by several weeks. The on-sale date will be announced in the near future." Given the severity of the situation in Thailand -- the worst flooding the country has seen in 50 years -- we can likely strike "could potentially" and replace it with "will definitely".
The problem, Honda says, lies with the CR-V's electrical components. Though the majority of Hondas made in North America are manufactured with products from North American suppliers, "a few critical electronic parts are sourced from Thailand and other regions of the world". Honda says it is working with suppliers throughout its network to address the shortages. We'll keep you updated on the company's progress.
In the meantime, Honda debuted a concept version of the 2012 CR-V in Anaheim -- yes, Anaheim -- at the recent Orange County International Auto Show. Honda has said that it will unveil the 2012 production model at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, and since we've heard nothing to the contrary (yet), we still expect to see it there in two weeks. Stay tuned.