Honda Canada returns to full production

Alliston, Ontario plant has returned to regular production levels.

October 19, 2011
by CAR staff

ALLISTON, ON: Honda of Canada Mfg. (HCM) in Alliston, Ontario, has returned to regular production levels. After the earthquake and tsunami in Japan this spring, HCM production was reduced to approximately 50 percent during the summer months due to the shortage of critical parts from that region.

Approximately 95 percent of Honda vehicles sold in Canada are produced in North America. Before the March 11 earthquake in Japan, HCM was assembling more than 28,000 vehicles per month, bound for sale in Canada and the US. While the majority of Honda’s parts and materials are sourced locally, certain critical parts are supplied from Japan for global efficiency. As a result, vehicles produced at HCM were adversely affected by the earthquake, especially the 2012 Civic.

The reduced summer production schedule resulted in Plant 1 consolidating its two shifts into one shift operation. As well, several non-production days were scheduled during the reduced production period. On those days, Associates had a variety of options including taking part in business improvement activities, training, and volunteering. This schedule helped Associates provide 325 hours of community support to local food banks, humane societies and Habitat for Humanity.

“We are extremely thankful for the dedication, support and flexibility of our 4,200 Associates through these challenging times,” said Jon Minto, senior vice president of Honda of Canada Mfg. “We also know that our Canadian operations play a large role in our local community, so we are pleased to return to regular production.”

The resulting production reductions affected a number of Honda’s vehicles, but particularly the all-new 2012 Honda Civic which had begun production just before the March 11 Japan earthquake.

In September, Plant 1 (which builds the Civic Sedan, Civic Coupe, and the Civic Si coupe and sedan) returned to two shift operations.  This month, both Plant 1 and Plant 2 returned to pre-earthquake production levels on all four shifts.

“This challenging year reminds us of the deep relationship we have with our Associates, dealers and customers,” said Jerry Chenkin, executive vice president of Honda Canada Inc. “It is heartening to know that so many customers patiently waited for our all-new Civic while production was reduced. The Civic truly lives up to its promise as a car for everyone and we’re excited to have the production capabilities back online to supply the growing demand.”