Honda to cut motorcycle workforce

Kyodo

Honda Motor Co. will transfer some workers at its Kumamoto factory, its only domestic motorcycle production base, to other plants in Japan as part of efforts to shift its motorbike manufacturing offshore amid the yen’s historic rise, company officials said Saturday.

Around 400 of the 3,200 employees at the factory in Ozu, Kumamoto Prefecture, will likely be transferred to a four-wheel vehicle plant in Suzuka, Mie Prefecture, and other domestic facilities within a few years, the officials said.

Honda consolidated its motorcycle production at the Ozu plant in 2008 after discontinuing output at a factory in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture. Production at the factory in recent years has fallen far below its annual capacity of more than 500,000 units.