Sunday, May 1, 2011

Small Japanese car parts makers of big effect

ISHINOMAKI, Japan - in the days of Japan's earthquake and tsunami knew Masahiko Horio, that he his factory back online quickly.

Customers were vocal. The backlog of orders rose.

The zinc and widgets made by his company, Horio manufacturing co., seem insignificant at first sight. But the small metal components represent a vital fraction used thousands of parts in a single car.

The global supply chain, the engine - starting the giant automaker feeds - Toyota, Honda and General in the modest company such as Horio manufacturing. Japan's recent disaster showed that a missing link to production lines around the world to a standstill can grinding.

The imperative to resume normal Edition is for small parts suppliers in all over North-Eastern Japan, press to keep the customers happy, or to lose the prospect of large business competitors in the domestic and abroad must provide. Already, companies in Taiwan and South-East Asia are orders as customers search for alternative sources of supply see climbing.

The 54 employees Horio manufacturing in hard hit Ishinomaki produce around 600 different electronic and car parts, including the basic components for car antennas and navigation systems. It managed to avoid tsunami damage, because it sits on a hill. The earthquake and power deficiencies its machines for two weeks shut yet,.

Horio, President of manufacturer, another serious problem confronted he worked desperately restart operations. A smaller company, finished and tested a dozen parts, tsunami was destroyed on 11 March. Horio could not supply the customers without this last step in the quality control of ship.

A visit to 40 minutes away, where once muses, revealed the 14-person company, Ogatsu was the extent of the damage. The frame of the building remains, but little else. A boat is except from the structure. Horio's metal parts and the equipment used, perfect them were scattered amid the debris.

But it was urgent work done be. And the President decided that if Ogatsu had no building muses, he would provide the equipment and on his own company to a new home found space.

"We other options first thought," said Horio. "But Ogatsu is fast and know how it does this job." And we did not want to impose any additional burdens on our customers.

His company is operating at about 80 percent capacity now, but the future is far from clear. Horio worries about electricity shortages in the summer, which could reduce output and whether customers elsewhere can apply.

"We need to recover only as fast as possible and make sure that our customers trust our ability to provide are," he said.

The Japanese parts crunch has on the world, from Malaysia, United Kingdom to the United States echoed. Industry analysts and U.S. traders have said, that, will cause lack of some models, especially small and medium-sized cars auto plant shutdowns in the coming months.

Toyota Motor Corp., said this week that it will suspend due to the lack of parts production in Europe for eight days. The move follows an announcement of last week that world's no. 1 would to stop automakers passenger car production in North America in April. In Japan, Toyota has suspended output except for three plants, with limited capacity run.

Toyota spokeswoman Shiori Hashimoto, said the company fought to secure some 150 types of auto parts.

Similar problems and shut down have pressed rival Honda Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co., Ford Motor Co. and General Motors co..

It is rules to watch for Hirohito Yokoyama CEO at Iwaki Diecast co., about 40 miles south of Horio manufacturing, in the town of Yamamoto embarrassing.

His company makes slightly larger parts of engines used. Sending components for torque converter, oil filter and engine control units to automakers such as Toyota and Honda.

"The worst thing for us is that we our customers line by stopping by our own production stop" Yokoyama said in an interview in the company.

The earthquake caused structural damage to the plant and equipment. The tsunami has broken thousands of parts, the employees for recovering in the surrounding rice fields. You sat in rows of boxes outside, pastries in mud and unusable.

Electricity added his miserable deficiency. Some power remained parts of the plant in the dark even when the company diesel generators recover.

The company estimates disaster cost about 300 million yen ($ 3.6 million), about 360,000 yen ($4,300) a day it is expenditure for diesel, Yokoyama said.

Iwaki Diecast and Horio manufacturing Miyagi Prefecture, are suffered in the highest death toll in the disaster. The 13.700 confirmed deaths were more than 60 percent in Miyagi. The Pacific coast is devastated, and ten of thousands evacuated life still in shelters.

Before the tsunami, Governor Yoshihiro Murai of economic roadmap to increase his Prefecture economic output 20 percent by 2016. The electronics parts Automotive important pillars were of its growth strategy.

In April 2010 Prefecture established to promote an Office for the auto parts industry, and when subsidiary a new factory in the Central Toyota Motor Co. opened in January. It had hoped to promote the local economy through the combination of small producers with the large car-related company with production in the area, including Toyota, Alps Electric Co. and engine parts maker Keihin Corp.

Instead said is now charged with assessing the damage to the industry, Fenrir Takahashi, head of Miyagi's automotive industry Promotion Office.

"We move really forward were,", he said the region of Disadter economic growth.

The main concern now is for the region parts manufacturers, if they can actually be restored.

"And also if they again, she questions whether their products sold again," he said. "If several months pass car manufacturer, may be somewhere else and form new relationships."

Copyright 2011, the associated press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

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