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Lack of parts halts Honda bike output in Vietnam

TOKYO, Sept 18,2002 Reuters reported that Honda Motor Co Ltd , temporarily halted production of motorbikes in Vietnam on Wednesday, saying it had run out of parts after the government's introduction of import quotas.

"We don't have any more parts. They're being held up at customs," Honda Executive Vice President Koichi Amemiya told reporters in Tokyo.

"But we don't think we will have to stop production for that long. We are hopeful of a quick resolution," he added, saying that Honda was actively lobbying the Vietnamese government.

Vietnam's trade ministry earlier this month imposed a 280,000 limit on imports of motorcycle component sets for 2002. Honda had already built 281,629 motorcycles this year.

Honda's Vietnam unit had said that it would seek permission to import another 306,000 component sets due to rising demand, and Vietnam's Deputy Minister for Planning and Investment said last week that Honda would get some sort of higher import quota.

Amemiya said on Wednesday that Honda had no plans to change its current sales targets for the Vietnamese market, where the Honda name has become a synonym for motorbike.

Honda, also Japan's second-largest automaker, expects its Vietnamese sales to more than double to around 400,000 units this year despite relatively flat overall demand.