2011 has been a particularly tumultuous year for the automotive industry world over due to a series of natural disasters resulting in production scheduled going awkward. The Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami severely affected the Japanese automakers directly and many other automakers indirectly as parts supplies from Japan slowed down drastically. In September this year, the second natural calamity to hit Japan was the Typhoon Roke, which also disrupted production briefly.
Now, the latest natural disaster to hit the automotive industry particularly hard are the floods which have besieged Thailand for the past few weeks. Thailand, being a major supplier of automotive parts to automakers across the world, has seen its automotive units shutdown due to the perilous floods that has so far left over 300 dead and scores missing. Honda SIEL Cars India imports a chunk of the parts that it uses for its car models from Thailand.
The Honda Jazz is one car that relies heavily of Thai parts and the sudden floods at Thailand have left Honda high and dry as the Japanese automaker, like most of its ilk uses the just-in-time manufacturing schedule where even a minor disruption of parts supply can lead to production coming to a grinding halt. This is the primary reason why Honda is not being able to produce the Honda Jazz in India.
Also, the recent price cut has made the Jazz a superb value-for-money offering, which has resulted in more demand for this spacious B+ segment hatchback. Currently the waiting period for the Honda Jazz is stretching to a super long six months and thus Honda has instructed its dealers to stop taking fresh bookings for the Jazz until the factory can restore production of the Honda Jazz in late November or early December, whose production is sold out until the March of 2012.
Meanwhile, here’s official word from Jnaneswar Sen, the senior vice president of sales and marketing at Honda SIEL Cars India,
The demand for Jazz has taken us by surprise. The initial production target for Jazz was much less. Dealers can’t take more bookings as they have lesser number of cars allocated to them and it becomes irritating for the customers to wait as long as six months for a car. The situation is likely to improve by the end of November or early December. The situation in Thailand is very grim. It is likely to have an impact. We are still assessing its impact.