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18 March 2011 | Angeline Albert
US carmaker General Motors is suffering from a scarcity of parts as a result of the earthquake in Japan.
Following the effects of the quake off
Japan’s coast on 11 March, the company issued a statement on its decision
yesterday to suspend production at its Shreveport assembly plant in Louisiana next
GM said: “We will resume production at
Shreveport as soon as possible. At this point, we have sufficient vehicles to
meet customer demand. Employees should use specified plant communication
hotlines for updates about future production schedules.”
Infrastructure problems in Japan caused by
interrupted energy supply, damaged buildings and transport links caused Toyota,
Honda, Nissan and Mitsubishi to halt production at factories this week.
Mitsubishi Motors suspended operations in three of its Japanese plants on 14 and 15 March
and has now resumed production.
On 16 March, the Toyota Motor Corporation said: “In an effort to aid the repair
of vehicles already on the market, we are planning to restart production of
replacement parts on 17 March…[and for] overseas production (including
knockdown parts) on 21 March.” The halt of domestic vehicle-production will
continue until the end of 22 March.
Damage was widespread in Japan’s Tochigi area,
where Honda Motor Company has manufacturing operations. From 14-20 March, Honda’s production activities in Japan were suspended. The
company said: “We are assessing the long-term impact on Honda auto production
in North America, since some parts are supplied from Japan. We currently have
adequate inventory of products supplied from Japan.”
Nissan said yesterday in a statement:
“Although all plants in Japan, except for the Iwaki engine plant, have been
able to repair some damaged facilities, it is still taking time to arrange
delivery of parts from our suppliers.”
It said Nissan Europe does
not anticipate any short-term impact on sales or vehicle availability but “due
to supply disruption in Japan, we anticipate some impact in the medium term but
it is too soon to determine the extent of that impact”.