Honda’s UK car manufacturing plant at Swindon has been a tremendous success since it was first established in 1986. Some 3,000 people now work at the plant producing almost 5,000 Civic, CRV and Jazz models every week. But not last week.
The company had to suspend production at the plant because a container ship carrying parts was delayed by the bad weather on its route into the UK.
In this context, “bad” is a euphemism for “appalling” with wind speeds of 90 mph and 27 foot waves pounding the coast along the south west of the UK.
So it is hardly surprising that the ship was delayed. Perhaps more surprising is the fact that it forced Honda to suspend production between the 7th and 10th of January.
Fortunately, the disruption has been limited. Production resumed on the 13th of January. Honda says the interruption will not affect customer orders as the factory will recover the lost production over the course of the next few weeks.
A relatively small problem quickly rectified. But also a demonstration of how quickly supply chain risk can move from theory to reality.