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Toyota, Honda extend Japan auto shutdown

Source : AP
Last Updated: Fri, Mar 25, 2011 05:51 hrs

Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. are extending their shutdown of auto production in Japan amid a shortage of parts following a colossal earthquake and tsunami earlier this month.

Japanese automakers are struggling with power cuts and a dwindling supply of components as a result of the March 11 disaster that devastated northeastern Japan.

Toyota, the world's No. 1 car maker, said in a statement Tuesday that its shutdown of 11 factories would be extended until Saturday because of difficulty securing components, including rubber parts and electronics.

The shutdown had previously been announced through Tuesday. The automaker has lost production of about 140,000 vehicles since March 14.

Toyota, the maker of the Prius hybrid and Lexus luxury models, resumed repair parts production last week. It said that production was continuing.

Honda said its production halt would continue through Sunday. The extended shutdown affects finished vehicle production at its Saitama and Suzuka factories and motorcycles at its Kumamoto factory. It had previously announced the shutdown through Wednesday.

The maker of Subaru autos, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., said it will start making parts for foreign production Wednesday and spare parts on Thursday but the shutdown at five auto factories in Japan was extended through Thursday.

Japanese automakers are expected to rebound once they restart production following the quake and tsunami that likely killed at least 18,000 people in the northeast. But industry analysts say they will be hampered by power shortages and damage to roads.

Last week, Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. restarted some plants using their stocks of parts, but said that would continue only as long as inventory lasts.

Automakers are scrambling to find alternative parts suppliers to replace those disabled by the 9.0-magnitude quake.

The disaster-stricken northeast is home mostly to tertiary parts-makers — the tiny machine shops that make parts for secondary and other suppliers.




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