Parts shortage halts Sony production in Japan

23 March 2011

23 March 2011 | Angeline Albert

Sony has suspended manufacturing at some plants in Japan due to shortages of raw materials, components and power following the natural disasters in the country.

These supply shortages have caused five of the electronic manufacturer’s sites to undergo partial or total closures this week, adding to six plants already shut down by the crisis. However, another three previously suspended facilities have now resumed operations.

The factories hindered by shortages produce camcorders, digital cameras, lenses, mobile phones, headphones and televisions. Sony said it intends to resume manufacturing at the sites when it has secured the supply of raw materials and parts. The sites will be shut at least until 31 March.

In a statement the company said: "Recovery plans to resume operations at most of the remaining manufacturing sites damaged by the earthquake and tsunami have already begun to be implemented.

“At the same time, manufacturing operations at certain manufacturing sites that sustained no direct damage are now being affected by planned power outages as well as shortages of raw materials and components, causing those sites to temporarily suspend a part of their operations.”

The firm said it would rely on its existing inventory to fulfil demand, and was considering moving manufacturing overseas temporarily as an alternative.

Last week General Motors wasforced to abandon production at one of its assembly plants in the US due to a scarcity of parts, and research group iSuppli has warned of “significant shortages” of electronic components as a result of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the country.

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