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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami affect Automobile Production...

When I arrived at work this morning the gossip on the lips of all the Salesmen was a variation of how bad these catastrophe's would affect Subaru production.  Now it's not just gossip.

News coming out of Japan is that as a result of the quake and tsunami, Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Subaru all suspended production at plants in Japan today and are assessing the damage caused. It is reported that the shutdown could affect exports to the United States of many models including the Toyota Yaris sedan, Scion xB, Scion xD, Honda Fit, Honda Accord sedan and the Honda CR-V. Production of the Acura and Infiniti lineups will also be affected.

Toyota said that it has evacuated workers from several factories affected by the quake zone. Toyota has two part plants in northern Japan.

The status of those plants was being evaluated, Toyota spokesman Dion Corbett said. “We are still trying to get information from them,” he said. Lack of communication in the quake zone has made it hard for companies to get a clear picture of the extent of the damage.

Subaru, one of Japan’s smallest automakers, closed five factories. According to the latest word from the world’s largest automaker the plants that have stopped production are Toyota subsidiary plants that produce parts and vehicles, including:
  • Toyota Motor Hokkaido Plant
  • Toyota Motor Tohoku Plant
  • Central Motor Corporation Miyagi Plant, which also produces the Yaris model.
  • Kanto Auto Works Iwate Plant, which also produces the Scion xB and Scion xD.
And, according to yet another Reuters piece, Toyota’s low inventories of Lexus luxury vehicles could be especially vulnerable to interruptions. And, according to Automotive News.

But so far, the worst news comes out of Honda and Nissan, namely that at least one person died at Honda’s research facility and fires erupted at two Nissan plants.

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