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Ghosn says 40 Japan auto suppliers still in difficulty

Manufacturing disruption
resulting from the earthquake in Japan
Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru)
UPDATED: 9:25 a.m. ET, 3/22/11   U.S.:
• Canceled overtime shifts at Subaru of Indiana (Legacy, Outback, Tribeca and Toyota Camry) until April 1; no parts shortages reported

Japan:
• Suspended vehicle assembly until March 24
•Plans to resume parts production for overseas factories March 23; spare parts production March 24
General Motors
UPDATED: 9:25 a.m. ET, 3/22/11   U.S.:
• Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickup production in Shreveport, La., suspended week of March 21; shortage of undisclosed parts from Japan
•Suspended some engine production for week of March 21 at Tonawanda, N.Y. plant, which supplies Shreveport; 59 of 623 workers on layoff
• All nonessential spending and global travel temporarily halted

Europe:
• Production at plants in Spain and Germany (Opel Corsa) halted week of March 21; shortage of undisclosed parts from Japan

Asia:
• Overtime cut at two South Korean factories for week of March 21
Honda Motor Co.
UPDATED: 9:25 a.m. ET, 3/22/11   U.S.:
• No immediate impact on North American manufacturing operations
• Orders suspended from U.S. dealers for Japan-built models including the Fit, Insight, CR-Z, Civic Hybrid, Acura TSX and Acura RL. Also affected are a small number of CR-Vs
• April U.S. launch of the redesigned 2012 Honda Civic on schedule

Japan:
• Production halted at Sayama (CR-V, Accord, Fit, Acura RL and TSX), Suzuka (Fit, Civic, Civic hybrid, Insight and CR-Z) and Kumamoto (motorcycles) until March 27 at the earliest. Tochigi research center north of Tokyo is closed
• Hamamatsu (transmission and engine), Ogawa (engine) and Tochigi (powertrain) plants may begin limited parts production before March 27
Mazda Motor Corp.
UPDATED: 9:45 a.m. ET, 3/23/11   Japan:
• Resumed temporary production March 22 of replacement parts and parts for overseas factories at two plants
•Also resumed production of vehicles that could be completed with parts already in stock
•Unknown when full production will resume
Mitsubishi Motors Corp.
UPDATED: 9:42 a.m. ET, 3/23/11   U.S.:
• Assembly plant in Normal, Ill., is running normally; no shortages anticipated

Japan:
• Assembly plants (3) suspended indefinitely; production had resumed March 22 using parts made before earthquake but not delivered because of bad roads
•Plans to reopen Pajero truck plant March 24
•Company still has six suppliers in quake zone not operating
Nissan Motor Co.
UPDATED: 9:25 a.m. ET, 3/22/11   U.S.:
• All Nissan Americas plants (4) open; will continue running until further notice
• About 1,300 Infiniti vehicles were damaged in port in Japan en route to the U.S. Nissan expects to make up the inventory loss within months

Japan:
• Five plants — Oppama, Tochigi, Kyushu, Yokohama and Nissan Shatai — resumed some parts production March 21. Regular assembly is scheduled to resume at all of these plants March 24; affects the Rogue, Leaf, 350Z and GT-R sports cars and almost all Infiniti models
• Iwaki powertrain plant closed
Renault Samsung Motors Corp.
UPDATED: 1:50 p.m. ET, 3/22/11   South Korea:
•Stopped weekday overtime as well as weekend shifts
Suzuki Motor Corp.
UPDATED: 9:33 a.m. ET, 3/23/11   Japan:
•Suspended output at (3) plants through March 27; affects U.S.-bound Kizashi sedan, Grand Vitara crossover, SX4 small car
•Will continue making engines at its Sagara plant with parts that remain in stock
•Had previously resumed half-day production on March 22 and 23
Toyota Motor Corp.
UPDATED: 9:50 a.m. ET, 3/23/11   U.S.:
• North American vehicle and engine plants (13) running; overtime curtailed
• Prius availability in the U.S. could be affected by damage to a hybrid battery plant; RAV4 crossover also affected

Japan:
• 21 auto and components plants closed until March 26, when it will reassess production plans
• Expects to resume production of key parts for overseas assembly plants this week
• Resumed production of replacement parts for vehicles already on the market on March 17; resumed production of parts for overseas production on March 21.
• Damaged: The Central Motor plant in Miyagi, which manufactures the Yaris; the Kanto Auto Works Iwate plant, the Scion xB and xD models; parts plants in Hokkaido and Tohoku
•Delayed Japanese launch of wagon-style Prius; not expected to affect U.S. or European launch
Volvo Car Corp.
UPDATED: 10:00 a.m. ET, 3/23/11   Europe:
• Production continues, but with only a 10-day supply of Japan-built navigation and climate control systems, The New York Times reported
• Company says production will continue undisrupted through week of March 28; can’t predict beyond that

Ghosn says 40 Japan auto suppliers still in difficulty
Nissan considers shipping engines from Tennessee to Japan

Automotive News | March 23, 2011 – 9:04 am EST

TOKYO (Bloomberg) — Nissan Motor Co. CEO Carlos Ghosn said about 40 component suppliers in Japan remain in difficulty after the nation’s record earthquake, complicating automakers’ efforts to restart car production.
Electronic components, plastics and rubber are in short supply and will affect Japanese automakers and rivals outside the country, Ghosn said today in a telephone interview. Japan’s carmakers are jointly offering stricken component-makers support through Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, he said.
“This is serious and it’s still difficult to evaluate,” Ghosn said. “You have the earthquake, you have the tsunami, rolling blackouts, and fuel shortages hitting at the same time, and they aren’t only hitting the car manufactures, but also the suppliers and the dealers.”
Nissan and Japanese rivals including Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. are struggling to resume auto production at their domestic factories after the magnitude-9.0 earthquake on March 11 killed more than 9,400 people and damaged factories.
The nation is also facing electricity shortages after a nuclear- power plant was crippled and disruption to road and rail networks. It will take Nissan until mid-April to resume major production at its plant in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture, Ghosn said.
Sites operating
The company’s other production sites in Japan are now operating and undamaged, Ghosn said. “Today I can tell you that we have a pretty good assessment of the situation of the company itself,” Ghosn said. “We are getting more confident every day.”
Nissan shares fell 2.9 percent to 703 yen in Tokyo Wednesday. The stock has lost 14 percent since March 10, the day before the quake. Japanese automakers including Nissan will probably have a “tough” time during the quarter beginning April 1, he said.
The financial impact from the plant closures will be minimal in the year ending March 31, Ghosn said. Nissan’s engine factory in Iwaki, located in the same prefecture where Tokyo Electric Power Co. workers are battling to avert a nuclear meltdown, aren’t getting enough water, electricity and gas to operate, Toshitake Inoshita, a Nissan spokesman, said this week.
Shipping from Tennessee
The carmaker is considering shipping engines from Tennessee to Japan, Nissan has said. The factory makes engines for vehicles including Infiniti sedans and Elgrand minivans. “It will take some time at Iwaki to recover,” said Ghosn, who plans to visit the plant soon.
Ghosn, who also leads France’s Renault SA, was in Paris attending an executive committee meeting on March 11. Nissan set up an emergency center in Yokohama “within hours” of the temblor off the coast of Sendai, northern Japan, he said. The center includes 100 employees, including top management, who monitor Japan plants on an hourly basis.
Nissan resumed operations at six factories on March 21 with some vehicle assembly due to restart Thursday, the company said March 20. Ghosn said the company has no plans to shift production to other countries. Nissan is “committing more than 1 million car production in Japan and this will not change,” he said. The automaker expects net income of 315 billion yen ($3.89 billion) in the year ending March 31.

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