Japanese earthquake: global auto industry situation – Wednesday update image

After almost 3 weeks from the enormous disaster, the automotive industry is grappling with disruptions to its production and supply base. According to latest reports, about 13 percent of worldwide auto output has been lost due to parts shortages.

Today, Nissan announced that in Taiwan the company will investigate all imported parts from Japan for radioactive radiations. Nissan spokesman Yonekawa said the Iwaki plant, one of Nissan’s two engine plants in Japan still has no running water.
The company said the tsunami, which decimated much of northeastern Japan, resulted in a production loss of 42,000 cars.

Toyota, world largest automaker, has told dealers that “approximately 233 part numbers, out of over 300,000 active part numbers, have been placed on controlled allocation.”  The automaker asked dealers not to stock up on those parts, but to order only “what is critically needed to support customer emergency” repairs.

Honda Motor Co. Ltd is cutting production of vehicles indefinitely in Alliston, Ont., and its other North American plants – the first major hit for the automaker in Canada and the United States from the crisis in Japan.

Some U.S. automakers – Chrysler, Ford Motor and others have stopped taking orders for certain paint colors because a specialized pigment factory hasn’t been able to come back on line.

In Europe, production at BMW Manufacturing Co. in Greer has not yet been affected by the combined disaster of the earthquake and tsunami, but the company is continually evaluating the situation of their sub-suppliers.

Volkswagen AG (VOW)’s production has not been hampered by disruptions at Japanese parts-makers because of the earthquake, Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn said.

“We are well supplied through next week,” Winterkorn said today at a press conference in Salzburg, Austria. The CEO said predictions beyond next week are impossible given the changing situation in Japan.

more updates are coming