Honda suspends Kumamoto motorcycle production

Plant in earthquake-hit area closed until Friday

HONDA has suspended production at its motorcycle factory in Kumamoto, the largest city affected by the two earthquakes that hit southern Japan on Thursday and Saturday. 

The plant is one of Honda’s main motorcycle production facilities and is located around 15 miles from Kumamoto, which was hit by a 7.3 magnitude quake in the early hours of Saturday morning, just over 24 hours after a smaller, magnitude 6.5 earthquake in the same area.

Dozens were killed in the two tremors and more are still unaccounted for.

Honda released a short statement confirming its Kumamoto plant will remain closed until Friday. The firm is believed to be using the intervening time to ensure that the facility is safe for workers to return. The closure could yet be extended if problems are discovered or if Honda’s suppliers from the surrounding region are unable to resume component deliveries.

Kumamoto hosts production of several large-capacity models including the Fireblade, Goldwing, VFR1200F, NC750X and CRF250X as well as the Silver Wing scooter.

Honda’s statement read: 'Honda would like to express its deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims of The 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake.

'Due to this earthquake, Honda will halt operations at its Kumamoto Factory (Ozu-machi, Kikuchi-gun, Kumamoto Prefecture) until April 22, 2016.

'Subsequent production plans will be determined according to facility restorations and component supply. Honda wishes the Kyushu residents the soonest recovery, and will put all our efforts into it.'

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