• Kyodo

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Honda Motor Co. says it will increase production volume at its North American and Chinese automobile plants to almost 100 percent of its original target in August after parts supply shortages resulting from the March 11 quake forced reductions.

Honda said Thursday in New York it will normalize its output in North America for most models in August, four months earlier than initially planned, because the supply of parts from Japan is improving.

Honda, which has cut production at its seven auto assembly plants in North America by 50 percent, will ramp up production there on a step-by-step, plant-by-plant and model-by-model basis, starting in June, with production returning to 100 percent for all models except the 2012 Civic, it said.

Production of the new Civic lineup will continue at a reduced rate of some 50 percent due to the limited supply of key components, but full production is expected to resume sometime in the fall, Honda said.

The automaker says it has produced about 126,000 fewer vehicles than it should have since the disaster.

On China, Honda said Friday in Beijing it will restore output to normal as early as August, as the effect of the disaster is petering out.

Meanwhile, Toyota Motor Corp. officials said the automaker is expected to normalize output at all of its plants in China by the end of June.

Both Toyota and Honda saw their new car sales in China plunge in April by about 20 percent from a year earlier due to the reduction in output.

Honda aims to double the annual output capacity at its plant in Guangdong from 120,000 units to 240,000 in the latter half of this year as initially planned.

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