JAPAN: Xirallic pigment available from June 1 image

Germany’s Merck KGaA, the only producer of the metallic paint pigment Xirallic will resume production by June 1 in Japan.

The factory in Onahama, is about 45 km from Tokyo Electric Power Co’s Fukushima reactor, was closed soon after the March 11 magnitude 9.0-earthquake.

Many of the world’s auto makers, including Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Group LLC, Volkswagen AG, BMW AG, Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors Co., use Xirallic in metallic paints known for their glistening, shimmering appearance. Many are now scrambling to see if they can switch to different types of paints, according to auto makers and suppliers with knowledge of the matter.

2 weeks ago, Chrysler told dealers that the company plants to limit orders for vehicles in 10 different colors that employ Xirallic pigment. Ford had already told dealers it could no longer take orders for F-150 trucks and other models using “tuxedo black” and three shades of red.

The plant, located in the coastal town of Onahama, Iwaki City, is the German group’s largest production base in Asia