Thai floods: Car output down by 6,000 cars/day: JAMA image

The output of Japanese carmakers has fallen by about 6,000 units a day because of the flooding, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said Thursday.

Japanese companies affected by the disaster “are now trying to find out if they can supply vehicles from (other factories in) Japan or other countries,” Toshiyuki Shiga said at a press conference.

On the same time, electronics giant Sony said Thursday it would postpone the launch of its latest digital single-lens reflex cameras and headphones as a result of massive flooding.

More than 400 Japanese firms in six industrial districts in Thailand have suffered flooding in factories, and the Thai government issued a flood warning to another 200 Japanese firms, according to a report released Tuesday evening by the Japan External Trade Organization.

Honda earlier said it had closed its production lines from last Tuesday after two industrial estates in Thailand’s historic city of Ayutthaya, north of Bangkok, were inundated.

Mazda has also suspended all its operations. The plant jointly operated with Ford Motor Co., continued operation until Tuesday by reducing its production capacity while using parts held in stock. However, the floods have damaged an increasing number of parts makers, making it difficult to procure necessary components.

The floods are likely to cause Thailand’s auto sector, the biggest in Southeast Asia, to miss its output target of 1.8 million units this year, Hiroshi Kobayashi, president and chief executive of Asian Honda Motor Co Ltd.

Thailand’s government warned that floodwaters may reach parts of inner Bangkok, sending stocks and the baht lower as the government struggles to control a deluge that has inundated thousands of factories.

More than 320 people have died, villages have been swamped and huge swathes of Thailand have been shattered by months of monsoon rain. Thailand’s Central Bank said the floods’ total cost could rise to 100 billion baht ($3 billion).