Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Japan crisis could squeeze car world production

While the immediate focus of Japan is to rescue the wounded, recovery of the dead and caring for survivors, slowly natural disaster comes the island nation with the impact of last week on their largest industry: automotive manufacturing.

The massive earthquake and the devastating tsunami that followed seem destroyed or washed, to sea, thousands of new cars have. The power of the natural disaster plants ground and left manufacturers large and small fight, the damage to.

Automatic production is held at least temporarily, and it remains to be seen how long it will take to production run again. The effects of the stoppage could be felt for months in Asia and around the world - from car manufacturers, workers, investors, and drivers, found, some of their favorite vehicles in short supply.

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"The disaster will have an impact and not only in Japan,", said an auto analyst George Peterson automotive research and consulting firm AutoPacific.

So far, it appears that only a car industry worker was killed while at work while the quake - crushed a Honda employees, when the wall of the cafeteria tumbling the technical center in Tochigi carmaker fell.

But thousands of vehicles lost or damaged, including 1,300 Infiniti luxury cars of the tsunami disaster in a warehouse of the port of Hitachi were flooded. Nissan said at least a further 1,000 vehicles were damaged - one of the cities most severely damaged on the port of Miyagi by the disaster.

Nissan, Japan second-largest automaker, production at four plants has exposed through at least Wednesday, with two other assembly lines running through at least Thursday.

What that means in the production have lost not yet an estimate of the automaker, but expected Honda, which is at least shutter their works by Sunday, losing production of 16,600 cars and trucks and a further 2,000 motorcycle and scooter fair.

Toyota created a larger share of its products in the domestic market as the Nissan or Honda, has also locked production and expected lose a minimum 40,000 vehicles of production. A spokesman said the standstill costs about 6 billion yen, or $72 million in lost profits for every day, where the plants remain closed.

The timing could not been worse for Toyota, the world's largest automaker and Japan's largest companies.

Drive just a few days before the 8, 9-brightness of the automaker announced a plan to the worldwide earthquake sales to 10 million and profits sharply up. Industry analysts suggest in the long run, before the current setback may only little impact on the "global vision" of President Akio Toyoda announced, but that could depend, the depth of the damage to Toyota facilities and their suppliers.

Part of the problem is that each plant is auto a network of hundreds of parts manufacturers, and it is unclear how badly the subcontractors of the disaster are affected, Jim Hall said automotive analysis company 2953 analytics. But "some assembly plants soon could feel it," said Hall, and perceived the effect of Japan.

About half of all the Japanese brand vehicles in North America sold are in the United States built. But many of these farms are still on Japanese parts manufacturer for everything from engines and transmissions, the the smallest "widgets", notes analyst Peterson. If there is no additional source of such components, car could US power plants such as the Nissan plant in Canton, Miss., or the Honda factory in East liberty, Ohio, in trouble, he said.

Japanese factories leave traditionally on a "just in time" - on inventory manufacturing system delivered the factory supplier only in case of need for Assembly - but there is a long time may not be a felt supply chain from Japan, Peterson, the impact on the said 'Transplantation' assembly plants until early April.

The impact of the crisis probably varies from model to model, say analysts. Early signs point Honda could be especially hard hit. His Sayama plant is located in one of the regions of Japan beat most of the disaster is a key Assembly, produce models such as the Honda CR-V, accord and fit, some of them for export to the United States, as also Acura's RL and TSX-model. Honda said the work of Ogawa in earthquake-stricken Saitama, engines also produced.

For U.S. consumers the situation could, at least some of which lack of experienced repeat the product when "voluntary" restrictions on exports to the United States agreed to Japanese automakers to so-called two decades ago. Led to a sharp run-up in the price of Japanese cars.

Although he is hope is expressed that car dealers take advantage of the situation, Phillippi of car WebTrends warned long-time automotive analyst Joe consulting, that "there is always a cohort of the traders, who never go a good crisis to lose can be." She tries to use "by charging premiums when they feel worried that US customers for Japanese products are willing to pay."

On the other hand, some observers believe that this could be a good opportunity in Japan's market share food United States and Korean car manufacturers.

But American automakers rely also on Japanese suppliers, and while they are using several sources for components, some important parts from only one source could be. In some cases, the absence of individual part could bring a whole plant to a halt.

The supply of automotive semiconductors said a major concern, automotive analyst Rod pool of Deutsche Bank. These are the central components for digital automotive race components, whether in engine management systems, airbag controller or infotainment systems used.  Japan produces nearly a quarter of the world's automotive semiconductor and the parts are very sensitive to damage during the production process.

Japanese battery suppliers are also central production of American hybrid-electric vehicles, such as the Ford Fusion hybrid.

The crisis in Japan could so, large problems to Detroit automakers, as well as create. In fact, are two Japanese automakers already estimate of the production at North American factories, period earthquake and tsunami in Japan continue availability of parts after Friday.

Subaru of America has suspended production at the plant in Lafayette, Indiana. The work, Subaru of only North American factory, employs 3500 employees and 150,000 vehicles last year including the outback and Tribeca cars and legacy sedan built. A spokesman of do not know when production will continue.

Toyota is on Saturday at all of its North American plants assess overtime and production, to suspend the availability of car parts. Toyota is trying to save parts after the great earthquake and tsunami, which is to interfere with shipments from Japan in the United States

Japanese automakers Honda and Nissan said its North American plants are not affected.

The associated press contributed to this report.

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