JAPAN EARTHQUAKE: Effects on the auto industry image

Japanese automakers halted production at assembly plants in areas hit by Friday’s 8.9-magnitude earthquake.

Unfortunately, Honda says the 42-year-old male employee died and more than 30 others were injured when walls and parts of a ceiling crumbled at a Honda Motor Co. research facility in northeastern Tochigi prefecture.

Most Honda vehicles sold in the United States are also built here. The exceptions are the Fit subcompact and the Insight hybrid, among others.  Honda is still determining how the earthquake may affect the supply of parts.
The 8.9 magnitude quake sent shares skidding in Japan and elsewhere, adding to a slide in global stocks to their lowest level in nearly six weeks.
Toyota Motor Corp said it had halted production at a parts factory and two assembly plants in the area. Toyota Boshoku Corp., a Toyota Motor supplier, reported damage at a plant in Miyagi. Roads were also cracked near its factory, said Misako Nagata, a spokeswoman for the parts maker.
The Yaris is made at Toyota’s Miyagi Prefecture plant, which has capacity of 120,000 units per year.
The immediate status of those plants was still being evaluated, Toyota spokesman Dion Corbett said. “We are still trying to get information from them,” he said.
Subaru temporarily closed five plants as a result of the earthquake.

Nissan notes it doesn’t anticipate any immediate affect from the event, but has suspended production at four plants until March 13. It said two workers were slightly injured at its Tochigi plant and its technical centre in Kanagawa prefecture, near Tokyo.

Mitsubishi, Mazda, and Suzuki have not commented on any post-quake production amendments