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HONDA TO REDUCE U.S. ACCORD OUTPUT, AUTOMOTIVE NEWS REPORTS

 HONDA TO REDUCE U.S. ACCORD OUTPUT, AUTOMOTIVE NEWS REPORTS
 DETROIT, July 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Honda of America Manufacturing Inc. told suppliers last week that it will cut production at its two U.S. assembly plants by 27,800 units in the next two fiscal quarters, the trade paper Automotive News reports in today's edition.
 Honda also said it will end production of the best-selling Accord at East Liberty, Ohio.
 In a letter that was obtained by Automotive News, Honda also cautioned its suppliers that its competitors are improving quality at a faster rate, and appealed for across-the-board cost and quality gains.
 Both Ford Taurus and Saturn are breathing hard on the heels of Honda's two best-selling models, Accord and Civic, in terms of both volume and perceived quality, according to Automotive News.
 "Although we made quality improvements in the 1992 J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey, our competitors made bigger gains," said the letter, signed by Satoshi Imai, Honda's senior vice president of purchasing, and Dave Nelson, vice president of purchasing. "We must do better." A Honda spokesman in Detroit told Automotive News he had not seen the letter and could not comment.
 In the letter dated July 21, the two executives said Honda will cut production at its plants in East Liberty and Marysville, Ohio, by 105 cars per day in the second half of its fiscal year, which ends March 31, 1993. Most of the reduction will occur on Marysville's line No. 2, which builds the Accord.
 In all, 27,800 units are being eliminated from Honda's production schedule, about 6 percent of the company's U.S. output of 451,197 units in calendar 1991. The rollback comes on the heels of a 25-car-per-day cut instituted in the fiscal second quarter, which ends July 31.
 The company also is trimming production in Japan, where sales are down 7.5 percent in the first six months. The company said it shut its Suzuka plant for five days and the Saiyama plant for four days in the first half to adjust production to sales.
 In their letter to suppliers, Imai and Nelson stressed that the reductions will not result in layoffs of Honda workers, or "associates" as they are called.
 Automotive News is published in Detroit each Monday by Crain Communications Inc. Crain Communications is a privately held company that publishes 25 consumer, business and trade publications, including AutoWeek, Advertising Age, Business Insurance and regional business weeklies in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and New York. It has more than 900 employees in 15 offices in the United States, England, Germany and Japan.
 -0- 7/27/92
 /CONTACT: Jim Crate or Ed Lapham of Automotive News, 313-446-6000/ CO: Automotive News; Honda of America Manufacturing Inc. ST: Michigan IN: AUT PUB SU:


ML -- DE005 -- 3354 07/27/92 08:58 EDT
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Date:Jul 27, 1992
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