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Honda Trims Production, Cites Quake Impact on Supplies

Honda says it's cutting production at three Ohio plants because of a shortage of parts from key suppliers in earthquake and tsunami-ravaged Japan. Honda officials call it a first: ramping down production on this scale because of a supply issue. The company would not say exactly what parts they're missing, just saying they're engine components and electronics. Ron Lietzke is a company spokesman. "Honda has informed its associates at its U.S. and Canadian auto plants that the company will implement a strategy of temporary adjustments that will reduce daily production levels," Lietzke says. Lietzke says shifts at the Marysville plant are being cut in half, and any extra parts are being sent to East Liberty to keep cars rolling off assembly lines. The map down in production is also bad news for the 150 Ohio companies that send parts to Honda like Marysville-based U-Co Industries, which makes owner's manuals kits. Glenna Reed is the company's CEO. "Of course if you don't have cars you don't need an owner's manual kit," Reed says. Reed says she hasn't cut any hours yet, but will likely have to do so if Honda keeps production lines idle very long. WOSU's Tom Borgerding contributed to this report