As I’m sure many of you have heard, Japan recently suffered a 9.0 earthquake. It’s the second worst earthquake in Japan’s history in the last 300 years and one of the top five largest earthquakes ever recorded. While devastating consequences from the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan are stabilizing, automakers are still struggling to get back to speed. What does this mean? American consumers will most likely see prices increase on Japanese import vehicles in the near future. While Nissan and Mitsubishi expect to have at least some of their factories back in operation this week, industry officials warn about uncertain conditions. As basic factors like communications and transportation are still uncertain, plans could change rapidly for OEMs in days and weeks ahead. Most auto plants continue to remain idle a week and half after the disaster partly because of Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex crisis and its nationwide electric power shortage.
Some things to note:
- Shortage of Japanese made automotive parts and “transplant” assembly line disruptions further destabilize US market conditions
- Toyota and Subaru, have curbed production at North American transplant assembly lines
- GM’s assembly plant in Shreveport, La., is down for the week due to shortage of Japanese-made parts
- GM also halting production at Tonawanda Engine Plant, near Buffalo, NY, and laying off 59 of 623 workers
- Nissan has between 4 and 6 weeks of imported parts for its North American plants
- Honda could face trouble as it gets ready to launch all-new 2012 Civic if supply line isn’t reopened by sometime in May
On a site note, if you are able to donate to the various causes that are helping the Japanese people recover, please do. This has been a tragedy of epic proportions and based on the tsunami that happened in Asia in 2004 and the earthquake that hit Haiti, we know the recovery efforts will take years. Every little bit counts.
source: MSNBC, Automotive Digest