HONDA'S biggest Japanese motorcycle factory is to remain closed for at least another week after being severely damaged in two earthquakes that hit the Kumamoto Prefecture earlier this month.
Earthquakes on Thursday 14th of April and Saturday 16th of April initially led to the factory closing for inspections, with a plan to reopen it on the 22nd. That closure was later extended to the 28th and now Honda has confirmed that production won’t restart until the 6th of May.
Even then, it will only be in partial operation, and Honda isn’t expecting it to be back to full strength until the middle of August.
The Kumamoto plant is Honda’s flagship bike factory, responsible for many important export models including the Fireblade, Goldwing and VFR1200F.
In a statement today the firm said: “Honda has decided to partially resume operation from May 6 at its Kumamoto Factory (Ozu-machi, Kikuchi-gun, Kumamoto Prefecture), which has been halted until April 28 due to The 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake.
“Honda will resume production in stages, depending on the ongoing circumstances.
“Due to severe damage to some part of buildings and equipment at the Kumamoto Factory, Honda expects recovery to be completed in mid-August.
“Regarding other production facilities, Yachiyo Industry Co., Ltd., our subsidiary company producing mini-vehicles for Honda, has shifted to limited production since April 22, and is planned to be fully operational in 6 months. Other production facilities are operating normally.
“Honda is fully committed to continue its effort cooperating with the people of Kumamoto for a rapid recovery.”