UPDATE 1-Honda's Mexican auto plants join North American pause from March 18

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MEXICO CITY, March 17 (Reuters) - Japanese carmaker Honda Motor Co will temporarily suspend production at its plants in Mexico beginning on March 18 due to supply chain problems related in part to pandemic disruptions, a company spokesperson said Wednesday.

The spokesperson said in a brief statement that it was unclear how long the pause will last, describing the suspension at Mexican plants as a coordinated North America-wide stoppage.

Carmaking makes up large part of Mexico’s manufacturing sector which hosts many of the globe’s top auto companies.

“We continue to manage a number of supply chain issues related to the impact of COVID-19, the microchip shortage and severe winter weather in recent weeks,” the spokesperson for Honda’s Mexican unit told Reuters.

Late on Tuesday, Honda said supply chain issues will force a halt to production at a majority of U.S. and Canadian auto plants for a week, but made no mention of its Mexican plants. (Reporting by Sharay Angulo; Editing by Anthony Esposito and David Gregorio)