Shocks of Japan Earthquake Felt by Automakers
Source: Cornell University
Newswise — “The devastation in Japan has caused major disruptions to everyone in the region. Two of the hardest hit auto companies were Toyota and Honda, both of which have major market share in the United States.
“Toyota had significant concerns about production of the Prius and other hybrid models and the subcompact models imported from Japan. Honda’s concerns were with the CRV, Fit and hybrid models produced exclusively in Japan.
“While assembly operations were impacted by the electricity shortage, it is the smaller suppliers that may have a longer-term impact on United States production.
“General Motors halted production at its Louisiana truck plant and has slowed output at two of its European plants due to a shortage of air-flow sensors produced at two Hitachi Automotive Systems plants in Japan that were closed due to the earthquake. Ford, meanwhile, has slowed production of some truck and SUV models due to a shortage of paint pigments produced in Japan.
“Ultimately, automakers will find a way to source parts to continue operations. This may cause some short-term headaches but it will not be a major concern two or three years from now.”
–Arthur Wheaton, an automotive expert and senior extension associate at Cornell University