Honda Motor Co. Ltd.'s decision to cut North American vehicle production by 62,000 this year will affect its plastics molding operations in western Mexico, a company spokesman said April 1.
However, Javier Gonzalez, speaking for Honda de México, said the effect on the output of parts for plastic car bodies in Mexico will not be as great as on CRV [a sport utility vehicle] production . It will not be as drastic.
Honda produces 1 million plastic and metal car body parts per year in El Salto, Gonzalez said. They include fascias, bumpers, mudguards and hoods for export to the U.S. and Japan, and for the locally produced Honda CRV, which is sold in Mexico and exported to South America, the U.S. and Canada, Gonzalez said.
The company also makes complete motorcycles in El Salto, including models sold exclusively in Mexico, and others exported to the United States.
Gonzalez said about 800 people are employed in plastic component production in El Salto, Honda's only manufacturing complex in Mexico.
The facility, which is near Guadalajara, has four Mitsubishi injection presses, three of them with clamping force of 4,400 tons and the fourth with 3,300 tons.
The parts primarily are polypropylene, Gonzalez said.
Honda opened the motorcycle assembly and automotive parts plant in March 1988. The car assembly plant opened in November 1995, when Honda started producing the Accord sedan in Mexico.
Honda said earlier it will idle vehicle assembly operations in a 13-day rotation at its plants in the U.S., Canada and Mexico starting in May and finishing in September, so as to achieve the 62,000 reduction in North American vehicle output this year.
The El Salto facility, which employs a total of 2,200, assembles190-200 CRVs per day, Gonzalez said.
The temporary plant closure program is a consequence of Honda's large inventories in the U.S., caused by economic uncertainty and a severe drop in new car sales in the U.S., he added.
According to Automotive News, a sister publication of Plastics News, Honda built 1.4 million vehicles in North America last year.