Effects of disaster in Japan ripple through motorcycle industry

Honda announced today that production at its Kumamoto motorcycle plant will remain halted at least until March 27, after previously expecting to resume production Wednesday, March 23.

Suzuki planned to reopen some production lines Tuesday and Wednesday in order to complete vehicles on the assembly line.

Yamaha is hoping to reopen its Iwata Main, Iwata South, Hamakita, Morimachi and Nakaze motorcycle factories on Thursday.

As the effects of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan continue to ripple through society at every level the motorcycle industry is seeing its share of the disruption.

Only Kawasaki, of the four Japanese major manufacturers, has come through relatively unscathed, due to the location of its plants approximately 400 miles away from the disaster area.

While these closures are likely to produce temporary shortages of motorcycles and parts, the ripple effect goes much further.

Bridgestone has resumed production at two of its tire plants in Japan but has announced that it will give priority to truck and bus tire production. The company produces motorcycle tires at its Nasoshiobara City plant, about 120 miles from the area hardest hit by the earthquake. Bridgestone also has to comply with rolling blackouts intended to conserve power. Nevertheless, large inventories on hand at distribution points suggest dealers will not face shortages.

Read More Here

[Source: Motorcycles Examiner]