The biggest-selling carmaker in Japan – Toyota Motor Corp. – announced that it would put a big part of its production on hold in factories in Japan after a number of earthquakes in the south of the country created a shortage of auto parts and led to damages in different factories connected to car production.
The earthquakes took place on Thursday and Saturday and unfortunately ended with 41 deaths, which also showed how vulnerable Japanese companies are in the face of natural disasters.
In fact, firms have been trying to face this sort of issues when similar events took place back in 2011 with the infamous earthquake and tsunami happening, which produced a nuclear disaster and around 20,000 victims. The way these carmakers and other manufacturers handle the current situation will prove if any major changes have been implemented along these years.
Toyota stated it would suspend operations at the majority of its car assembly factories in Japan for a week starting Monday as it could not receive auto parts in time from its suppliers.
Honda Motor Co. also announced it would suspend its production at the manufacturer’s motorcycle factory close to the city of Kumamoto which was affected by the earthquake, while Nissan Motor Co. said it would resume its work at its northern plants starting today.
At the beginning of this year, Toyota did not comment too much on the changes in the productin system after the 2011 eartquake revealed the vulnerability of the “just in time” system, which gives companies the possibility to function without handling big and expensive inventories and just receive smaller quantities of the car parts only when needed.
Carmaker in Japan ar not the only ones to put production on a break as the Sony Corp. giant decided to halt its production at an image sensor plant in Kumamoto in order to assess the damage from a structure and equipment point of view. In the meantime, the company chose to resume its operations at its plants near Nagasaki and Oita where sensors for smartphone cameras, including Apple’s iPhone, are produced.