Currently reading: Honda halts Swindon production for third time due to parts delays
Global semiconductor shortage forces Honda to temporarily pause production at UK site
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2 mins read
13 January 2021

Honda will pause production at its Swindon factory next week due to a shortage of parts, as the pandemic continues to impact manufacturer supply chains. 

In an official statement, the brand said: "Some production activities will not run Monday 18 to Thursday 21 January due to Covid-related supply issues. The situation is currently being monitored with a view to restart production on Friday 22 January.”

The plant has temporarily closed twice since the beginning of December for supply reasons, though this is the first time the pandemic, rather than delays at the port, has been cited as a factor. It is reported that the parts in question are semiconductors - a global shortage of which has already restricted production for Volkswagen, Nissan and General Motors. 

Semiconductor supply is limited because of a pandemic-induced boom in demand for consumer electronic devices that use the same materials - including smartphones, laptops and tablets - as working from home becomes more popular worldwide. Honda has cut production at several sites worldwide as a result. 

At the beginning of December, the Japanese firm told employees that congestion at UK ports was causing a "transport-related parts delay". Like most manufacturers, Honda operates a just-in-time production method, whereby parts are delivered exactly when they are required.

UK container ports, including Felixstowe, Southampton and London Gateway, were heavily congested with an increasing number of consumer orders for Christmas and companies filling lockdown-induced backlogs. It was also suggested companies were stockpiling goods before the Brexit transition period ended on 1 January.

In 2019, Honda announced it would be closing its Swindon manufacturing plant, where the Civic is currently produced, in 2021. It claimed an acceleration in electrification plans means that "resources, capabilities and production systems for electrified vehicles will be focused in regions with a high volume of customer demand".

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jason_recliner 10 December 2020

The curse of brexit strikes again!

Mainlysideways 9 December 2020
I suspect whoever is in charge of stock forecasting at Honda Swindon will be looking for a new job this Christmas. This could have been avoided with a bit of stockpiling back in the summer, just like many companies have done. We are currently carrying 6 months worth of stock having been investing in our stock levels over the last 3 years.
Zeddy 10 December 2020
Mainlysideways wrote:

I suspect whoever is in charge of stock forecasting at Honda Swindon will be looking for a new job this Christmas. This could have been avoided with a bit of stockpiling back in the summer, just like many companies have done. We are currently carrying 6 months worth of stock having been investing in our stock levels over the last 3 years.

When a lot of the world stopped working?

Rtfazeberdee 10 December 2020
Look up what "Just In Time" manufacturing means
cambuster 10 December 2020

"Just in Time" is optional, a cost efficiency measure. There always was, and still is, nothing wrong with holding enough stock to protect production "in the event of an unforeseen interruption to supply" - the current situation hardly being so.  

cambuster 10 December 2020

Agreed- getting parts into a motor vehicle plant is basic stuff, every part has a "chaser" whose sole job is to ensure that there is enough stock to run the plant. IF a problem occurs which impacts production it's not unknown for the "line to stop" - but the last thing a manufacturer does is publicise that to the media. Honda are media-ising to justify their withdrawal. 

NobbyUK 10 December 2020

It may have escaped your attention, Mainly, but they're all looking for new jobs already.

Put your crass remarks in your stockpile and smoke it.

xxxx 9 December 2020

Honda post such poor sales in europe that even porsche can out sell them. Honda are looking for excuses as their cars are just a poor shadow of former glories.