Ripple effects from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan continued to be felt by the U.S. work force this week as Japanese automakers announced cuts in plant production at North American factories.
While the cuts were expected, the news signals the long road ahead for Japan's economy, the world's third largest, and how other nations will be affected.
Japan's big three - Honda, Nissan and Toyota - and the global auto industry are Â increasingly hampered by parts suppliers in Japan who areÂ struggling in the aftermath of the worst disaster to strike the island nation since World War II.
The Honda Element, popular with dog owners and some types of businesses, will be discontinued after the 2011 model year, American Honda Motor Co. announced Friday.
"The Element proved that ultimate functionality can often come from thinking inside the box," John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda, said in a press release. "It made boxy vehicle designs cool."