As Japan shutdowns drag on, auto crisis worsens

AP News
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Posted: Mar 27, 2011 5:04 PM
As Japan shutdowns drag on, auto crisis worsens

Latest developments in the auto industry following Japan's March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The twin disaster and subsequent damage to nuclear reactors have disrupted the flow of auto parts and cars around the world.

In Japan:

_ Toyota Motor Corp., the world's No. 1 automaker, plans to restart production of the Prius and two Lexus hybrids _ the HS 250h and CT 200h _ on March 28. The company is expected to keep most of its other plants closed into next week, according to IHS' Global Insight Automotive Report.

_ Honda Motor Co. extended a shutdown of car production at its Saitama and Suzuka factories until April 3. It will restart motorcycle production on March 28. "Honda's core supplier base could be most affected by the disaster," according to IHS.

_ Nissan Motor Co. resumed production of the Nissan Leaf at its Oppama and Zama plants, but said the ability to keep producing the cars will depend on the frequency of rolling blackouts.

In the U.S.:

_ Nissan is considering producing some six-cylinder engines for Japan at its Decherd, Tenn., engine plant because of lost production at its Iwaki engine plant. That plant may not resume operations until mid-April at the earliest, according to IHS. Nissan says its North American production will remain at normal levels through April 1.

_ Toyota and Honda expect shutdowns at North American plants. Toyota is suspending overtime shifts and Saturday production at its 13 plants in North America. Honda said production could be interrupted after April 1.

_ General Motors Co. briefly shut a pickup plant in Shreveport, La., earlier this week due to a lack of parts. That action caused the partial closing of a New York factory that supplies engines for those trucks.

_ Subaru of America has stopped overtime shifts at its only North American plant in Lafayette, Ind.

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Source: Manufacturers and IHS Global Insight