Keeping track of events in Japan and their effects on many industries including ours, has become challenging. Companies continue to revise their schedules, and industry observers weigh in with both well-thought opinions and outright best guesses.
We grabbed some news briefs and headlines from last week.
• Toyota resumed limited hybrid production on March 28. Affected plants are running, but only at half capacity.
• Subaru and Honda extend some factory closures into April.
• Honda moves R&D operations from quake damaged building, says full operations may be delayed for weeks.
• Ford tells U.S dealers not to order Tuxedo Black or certain metallic red colors for trucks, SUVs and some sedans due to paint pigment shortage from supplier in Japan.
• The Wall Street Journal: “Makers of computer chips confront several problems. Assuming those in the quake zone can restart their factories and keep them running—far from a given, amid power-supply problems—they face potential shortages of raw materials and customers, whose factories may themselves be shut down or hard to reach.”
• The Detroit Free Press: Statistics from TrueCar.com showing U.S buyers are now paying at least $2,000 more for a Toyota Prius compared to three weeks ago.
• Edmunds.com says the Japanese disasters are not changing car-shopping behavior yet–consumers are not fearing any upcoming price hikes and supply shortages.
• IHS Global Insight: Thirteen percent of the global automotive industry is shut down, …and the worst may be yet to come because it will begin hitting outside Japan,” said IHS Automotive Director Michael Robinet.
• Manufacturing.net quotes Nissan Motor Co. as “considering moving some engine production from Japan to the U.S. because of earthquake damage to a Japanese plant, another illustration of how seriously the disaster has upended the global network of auto supplies.”
• Bloomberg News noted European carmakers – Volkswagen AG, PSA Peugeot Citroen and others – may be forced to idle plants as component suppliers in Japan struggle to restart factories. Opel has already canceled shifts at plants in Germany and Spain.
• From Automotive News: Mazda suspends U.S. dealer orders for Japan-built models. The suspension affects the May allocation for Mazda’s U.S. sales network.
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