Japanese Automakers Suspending Production After Devastating Quakes

Japanese Automakers Suspending Production After Devastating Quakes
A man walks at a damaged area by earthquakes in Minamiaso, Kumamoto prefecture, Japan, Sunday, April 17, 2016. Two nights of increasingly terrifying earthquakes flattened houses and triggered major landslides in southern Japan. Photo credit AP

A series of earthquakes devastated parts of southern Japan Thursday and Saturday killing at least 41 and injuring thousands of others. As the area works to rebuild, automakers including Nissan, Toyota and Honda have been forced to shutter or slow down production due to factory damage.

Reuters reports that due to supply chain issues following the quake, Toyota will suspend operations at most of its Japanese plants for about a week starting on Monday. One big supplier, Aisin Seiki, sustained damage to its plants in the quake-hit area of Kumamoto, but said it would make its parts elsewhere.

Nissan said it would resume operations soon, but Honda plans to keep production suspended at its motorcycle plant near Kumamoto through this week, Reuters reported.


The Toyota plant facing suspensions makes Lexuses; the Nissan plant makes a variety of cars, including the Murano. Honda’s plant builds a wide variety of motorcycles, from Goldwings to dirt bikes.

More on the damage and its effect on carmakers from Automotive News:


Mitsubishi Motors Corp. planned to halt operations at its Okayama assembly plant on Japan’s main island of Honshu on Monday and Tuesday because of supply chain problems, Japan’s Nikkei newspaper said. A spokesman was not immediately available for comment early Saturday morning in Japan.

[…] Automotive microcontroller maker Renesas Electronics Corp. also said it shut down its Kawashiri factory near the quake’s epicenter. It was assessing possible damage and did not say when operations at the plant would resume. The plant makes automotive chips among other semicondutors, the Nikkei said.

And as Reuters notes, the latest quake will be test of changes Japan’s automakers were forced to implement in the aftermath of the horrific 2011 earthquake; since then the companies have worked to make factories and supply chains more resilient to natural disasters.

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