Damaged paint plant could be down 4 to 8 weeks

AP News
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Posted: Mar 28, 2011 2:27 PM
Damaged paint plant could be down 4 to 8 weeks

Many car and truck buyers will have limited color choices for at least a month as crews try to fix a factory that was damaged by the earthquake in Japan.

The plant in Northeast Japan run by German chemical company Merck KGaA has been shut down since the quake. It is the only source of a shiny pigment used in many car paint colors.

Company spokeswoman Phyllis Carter says production won't resume for four to eight weeks, depending on the availability of infrastructure and utilities. She says repairs also depend on what happens at the damaged nuclear power plant about 30 miles from the factory.

Ford has told dealers to stop ordering its F-150 pickup in "tuxedo black." Chrysler told dealers it was also restricting color orders.