Many look forward to the new year as a chance to start over, and for Honda, that could likely never be more true after a rough 2011 with two major natural disasters wreaking havoc on the automaker all around the globe.
As part of Honda's recovery efforts in Thailand, where it builds small cars for local use as well as export to Europe, as is the case with the Jazz (badged as the Fit in the U.S.), MSNBC, Reuters and the Associated Free Press have reported the automaker has begun scrapping all 1,055 cars that were damaged in the flooding in order to insure no damaged cars will be refurbished and sold to the public.
"While we were able to relocate many new cars that were awaiting shipment to a safe area, 1,055 vehicles that remained in the plant were finally damaged by the flood," said Pitak Pruittisarikorn, executive vice president of Honda Automobile Thailand. Making sure to be clear, Pruittisarikorn added, "We will not sell any of the damaged cars to customers, or sell or reuse any of the parts."
The decision to scrap the cars has caused many to question why Honda did not attempt to at least salvage some of the parts, or possibly donate the cars to those who wished to attempt their own refurbishment. The simple answer is that Honda realized an influx of flood-damaged cars into the market could potentially cause more harm than it would be worth to the brand's reputation down the road - especially if people choose to re-sell the car and fail to disclose the car's past. Furthermore, if the automaker attempted to salvage certain parts of the car they would likely forfeit major write-offs as well.
All told, in addition to the 1,055 damaged vehicles, Honda estimates that it will lose six months' worth of production due to the extensive damage caused to its factory, located in the Ayutthaya, Thailand.
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