Car-maker weighs up ef­fects of tsunami

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - NEWS -

THE knock-on ef­fect of the Ja­panese disas­ter will be felt in un­known ways for an un­forsee­able time. Most car pro­duc­tion is re­cov­er­ing but the com­po­nent sup­pli­ers are badly af­fected.

Speak­ing at the launch of the 2011 Jazz and Ac­cord mod­els, in Leeds, Honda’s Bri­tish PR di­rec­tor, Paul Or­mond, said al­though no Honda fac­to­ries were phys­i­cally dam­aged, they had turned down out­put to con­serve the nation’s elec­tric­ity re­sources.

He said that 110 parts sup­pli­ers were in the stricken zone north of Tokio. The UK pro­duc­tion of Jazz and CR-V mod­els took around a tenth of parts, mostly elec­tron­ics, from these sup­pli­ers.

“I don’t think there will be se­ri­ous im­pact on Swin­don pro­duc­tion. We build more cars in the US than Ja­pan so there will be some sup­pli­ers there that can repli­cate things.”

Also mak­ing an ap­pear­ance at the Leeds event was one of the pi­o­neers of hy­brid cars, the orig­i­nal In­sight from 2000. This was a light­weight alu­minium two-seater with ad­vanced aero­dy­nam­ics. It was sold at £16,200 – a frac­tion of its true de­vel­op­ment cost.

The car here was re­stored by Honda UK. It has cov­ered 290,000 miles and felt “new”. The light han­dling and cor­ner­ing sta­bil­ity make it a joy to drive. On a short jour­ney, it av­er­aged 67 miles a gal­lon.

Value now: around £5,500.

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