January 15, 2012 / 2:37 AM / 7 years ago

Honda may spend $650 million to restore Thai plant: report

TOKYO (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co (7267.T) will completely overhaul its flood-hit factory in Thailand in a project that could cost more than 50 billion yen ($650 million), the Nikkei business daily reported on Sunday.

Thailand’s worst floods in half a century late last year hit Honda the hardest among Japanese automakers, with its 240,000-cars-a-year plant in the Ayutthaya Province in central Thailand submerged under water.

Honda, Japan’s No. 3 car producer, has already started replacing equipment with the aim of resuming output in April, the Nikkei said.

Refurbishing the flood-hit factory will almost be the equivalent of building a plant from scratch, the Nikkei quoted an unnamed Honda executive as saying.

Honda may receive payment from insurers, which are still assessing damage at the factory, as early as in the current financial year to March, lessening Honda’s financial burden to a certain extent, the Nikkei said.

Reporting by Nathan Layne, Editing by Jonathan Thatcher

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