Japan Automakers Extend Production Shutdowns as Massive Quake Impact Expanded

1 comment, 15/03/2011, by , in Auto News

Japan Auto Makers

TOKYO – Japan’s seven leading automakers are extending nationwide production shutdowns in the midst of growing concern about supply chain interruptions, power shortages and export difficulties following the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck northern Japan, killing thousands of people.

Toyota Motor Corp., with a major manufacturing presence in the quake zone, has suspended both assembly and parts plants manufacturing – on Monday and extended the shutdown through at least Wednesday as an added precaution.

The company’s spokesman Dion Corbett said, “The company will lose output roughly 40,000 vehicles over the three-day period.”

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. had already announced it would stop production at all its factories through Tuesday. By Monday evening, Honda, Nissan, Subaru and Suzuki, said shutdowns initially planned only for Monday would be extended to later in the week.

Japan’s supply chain has also been crashed, and there is also concern about export shipments being interrupted by tsunami damage to the nation’s ports.

U.S production may even be effected, if plants there can’t get parts normally imported from Japan.

Many automakers still unable to make contact with some of their parts makers in the quake zone after Friday’s disaster. Honda has 113 suppliers in the quake zone and still can’t get in touch with 44 of them.

“We cannot complete a car, even if one or two parts are missing,” Honda spokesman Keitaro Yamamoto said. “So it’s better that we stop production altogether.”

Now Nissan, Suzuki, Mazda and Subaru has also joined Honda and announced their production suspension at least through Wednesday.

Meanwhile, automakers are also concerned about power supply shutdowns, supply chain breakdown, effected export facilities and additional damage to plants from strong aftershocks, which continued rocking the region through Monday evening, with new earthquakes cropping up in different regions of the country.

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