• SHARE

A massive power outage in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada forced Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. to halt production at their Canadian plants, company officials said Friday.

The blackout, which took place Thursday afternoon, forced Honda’s plant in Alliston, Ontario, to suspend production during a late shift, beginning at 4:30 p.m.

The plant runs on a two-shift basis, a Honda official said.

The plant is scheduled to produce 390,000 units this year; a one-day suspension would cut production by around 1,600 units, the official said.

The plant produces the Honda Pilot, Honda Odyssey and Honda Civic sedan, as well as the Acura MDX and Acura 1.7 EL.

As the plant is inactive on weekends, the impact of the blackout will be minimal if the power supply returns to normal at the start of next week, the official said.

Toyota’s plant in Cambridge, Ontario, was also forced to suspend production, according to a Toyota official. The plant produces the Corolla sedan, Solara coupe and four-cylinder engines.

Although Suzuki Motor Corp. also has a plant in Ontario, the factory has been idle since last week due to the summer holidays, a Suzuki official said. The plant is jointly run with General Motors Corp.

Other Japanese firms were also affected by the blackout. Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. said employees who were in Manhattan to attend a meeting at its U.S. headquarters in New Jersey were unable to return home Thursday due to the outage.

Damages from the outage were limited, and operations at the U.S. headquarters were to return to normal Friday, company officials said.

A U.S. unit of Asahi Glass Co. also suspended operations at an Ohio plant that processes automobile glass for 2 1/2 hours before it resumed full operations.

Travel agency JTB Corp. said it was investigating the safety of about 300 Japanese who were traveling in affected areas on package tours. It added that none of the 36 tourists due to leave Japan for the U.S. later Friday had canceled their trips.

The local headquarters of Sony Corp., Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group Inc. and Nomura Holdings Inc. tapped their private power generation systems to keep their operations flowing.