Japan carmakers extend shutdowns due to parts shortages

March 16, 2011

Japan’s main auto manufacturers have announced they are extending nationwide production shutdowns due to growing concern about supply chain interruptions, power shortages and export difficulties following the devastating earthquake and tsunami last week, it was reported in Automotive News Europe.

Many automakers are still unable to make contact with some parts makers in the quake zone three days after Friday’s disaster, states the report. There is also concern about export shipments being delayed following tsunami damage to the nation’s ports.

“Overseas production could be affected as well if shutdowns become prolonged, as core components such as engines and transmissions are supplied to overseas vehicle factories from Japan,” predicted Kohei Takahashi, an auto analyst with JP Morgan Securities in Tokyo.

“Given the 20,000 to 30,000 parts that go into making an automobile, and the difficulty of procuring even basic materials, we do not foresee a return to normal production schedules anytime soon,” he stated.

GKN may cut parts supply to Japan

In a further article published by Reuters, it is reported that GKN Plc may have to cut the number of automotive components it makes due to some of its Japanese customers being unable to take deliveries.

“Although we are able to produce, we may have to adjust our output to reflect changing customer demand in Japan,” a GKN spokesman told Reuters.

GKN sales to Japan amount to around £400 million ($644.9 million), approximately 7% of total group revenues. The company counts Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. among its largest customers for car parts.

 

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