Honda halts car production in U.K.

by The Associated Press (APR)

LONDON – Car maker Honda has temporarily halted production at its plant in England after shipping delays linked to the COVID-19 pandemic and preparations for Brexit left it with a shortage of parts.

The company said it was forced to make the decision because “transport-related” delays left it short of parts. The factory relies on a “just in time” delivery system, in which parts arrive as they are needed for assembly and not stored locally, increasing efficiency.

“The situation is currently being monitored with a view to restart production as soon as possible,” Honda said in a statement.

The disruption of international trade caused by the pandemic is triggering delays as empty containers clog U.K. ports. Stockpiling ahead of Britain’s final departure from the European Union single market are adding to the congestion.

U.K. Major Ports Group, which represents the nation’s container ports, said a recent survey showed the situation was improving, though ports remained “very busy.”

“But just as container congestion didn’t occur overnight there are no instant, magic wand solutions,” CEO Tim Morris said in a statement. “Ports and their supply chain partners will need to continue to work constructively together.”