Japan: automakers plan factory shutdowns as they expect typhoon image

The world’s largest carmaker, Toyota and its local rival Mitsubishi said they independently plan to suspend operations at plants across central Japan as a typhoon is expected to damage the area.

Toyota would shut down 12 assembly facilities – four vehicle plants, engine and automotive parts factories – all of them located in the Aichi prefecture in central Japan. According to spokesman Ryo Sakai, following weather developments the company would decide later today if they can safely resume production.

Spokesman Manabu Yamanishi said that Mitsubishi would also close its operations at the Okazaki plant in central Japan during today’s morning and afternoon and would later on resume interrupted vehicle production.

According to their respective spokespersons, Nissan, Honda, Suzuki and Mazda all intend to keep their operations on a normal schedule. Typhoon Phanfone, just recently downgraded from the status of a super typhoon, is making its way northeast at 25 kph (16 mph) towards central and eastern Japan after first impacting areas of the Kyushu and Okinawa islands, according to a report of the Japan Meteorological Agency.

Weather has played a big role in Japan’s auto industry in recent years, as the 2011 undersea megathrust earthquake off the Pacific coast of T?hoku and subsequent tsunami waves massively disrupted automotive production in the country.

Via Reuters