Production Resumes at Honda’s Kumamoto Factory

06/14/2016 @ 12:06 pm, by Jensen Beeler4 COMMENTS


After seeing the region devastated by earthquakes, the Honda factory in the Kumamoto Prefecture is slowly coming back online. The Kumamoto factory (seen above, before the earthquake) has been offline since April 14th, though resumed minor operations on May 6th.

Honda says it has finally completed removal of debris from its most affected facilities; and as of June 6th, the company has partly resumed production of its main motorcycle models.

This is of particular note for American motorcyclists, as it means that Honda can once again being producing the Honda Africa Twin adventure-tourer, which was mid-production for the US market at the time of the earthquakes.

For those who missed our initial story on this, production at the Kumamoto factory came to a halt on April 14th, when a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the region.

After the foreshock grabbed headlines, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake then hit the Kumamoto Prefecture on April 16th, causing further damage.

These earthquakes came at the start of the production process for Honda Africa Twin motorcycles destined for the American market, which has meant a delay on the new model hitting US soil.

With the region devastated by the earthquakes, citizens of the Kumamoto Prefecture have had to rebuild their homes and businesses, which includes not only Honda’s Kumamoto factory, but also the support businesses in Kumamoto the provide work and parts for Honda’s production facility.

It should also be noted that Kumamoto continues to have sizable aftershocks and tremors, which add further delay and danger to the rebuilding process.

For now, Honda aims to slowly scale production back up at Kumamoto, and will elevate production levels in stages that correspond to its facility conditions.

Honda hopes to have the Kumamoto plat fully online by mid-August.

Source: Honda

  • Shinigami

    Take this and multiply it by about ten thousand, and you can see what will happen when the San Andreas finally does its thing- yet, what contingency plans are there to preserve the American economy when that happens?

  • Not a lot of manufacturing happening along the San Andreas. All the .com’ers will just have to work from another Starbucks, I presume.

    I lived in SF when the Loma Prieta earthquake happened (6.9 magnitude), it was bad, but certainly not anything that’s going to change the price of bread.

  • Shinigami

    If you don’t think the possible destruction of numerous multi-billion dollar businesses and the disruption of their workers won’t affect “the price of bread” you might want to have a better look at history.

  • One of the reasons that the Kumamoto quakes are having such an affect is because it’s an area of heavy industry. If the factory falls over, or is littered with debris, that affects that business, the business that are tied to it, and all the employees of those businesses. Big problem.

    California’s economy is very different though, and is based on the three pillars of Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and farming in the central valley. All of these business models are fairly immune to a physical disaster like an earthquake.

    Twitter comes to mind right now…how does another Loma Prieta put a company like Twitter out of business? It’s servers are distributed around the world, so its only real asset in danger are its people in SF. All things considered, SF withstood the Loma Prieta quake rather well, and that was before we had to make seismic considerations in the building code.

    If we’re talking economy-changing levels of devastation here, you’d need to see Google, Facebook, Twitter, and a slew of other services disappear in a single event…it’s just not something that is rationally feasible.

    I’m not saying a major earthquake in CA would be a non-issue, but in terms of affecting the US economy, and literally changing the price of bread, it’s really just not within several standard deviations of possible.