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Super Moderator
46,270 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Subaru shut plants after Japan earthquake
TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co. and Subaru suspended production at plants in Japan today and were assessing damage after an 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast, triggering a tsunami and shaking buildings as far away as Tokyo.

The shutdown could affect exports to the United States of such cars as the Toyota Yaris sedan, Scion XB and Scion XD, as well as the Honda Fit subcompact, Accord sedan and CR-V crossover. The temblor also affected production of the Acura and Infiniti lineups.

Toyota, the world's largest carmaker, said it evacuated workers from several factories in the quake zone. Toyota has two parts plants in northern Japan and two affiliates, Kanto Auto Works Ltd. and Central Motors Co., that assemble small cars in the region.

The status of those plants was being evaluated, Toyota spokesman Dion Corbett said. "We are still trying to get information from them," he said.

At least one person died at Honda's r&d facility, and fires erupted at two Nissan plants.

Spotty phone coverage in the quake zone made it difficult for companies to get a clear picture of the extent of the damage. Authorities in northern Japan were beginning to sift through the region's wreckage and tally the death toll when darkness fell.

Widespread damage

The quake struck at 2:46 p.m. local time off the coast of Sendai north of the capital, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The tremor also triggered a tsunami that flooded coastal areas. TV footage showed cars being washed down flood zones like toys and large capsized cargo ships tossed sideways, jumbled together and pushed inland.

The main airport in Sendai was transformed into an island surrounded by flood plains.

Aftershocks, many strong, rocked the region for hours afterward.

Toyota is one of the few Japanese automakers with a large manufacturing presence in northern Japan, a region it wants to make a center for small car production. In January, its Central Motors affiliate opened an assembly plant just an hour's drive from Sendai. That plant, with a capacity of 120,000 vehicles, makes the Yaris small car for export to the United States.

Toyota's Kanto Auto Works affiliate has another assembly plant in the neighboring prefecture of Iwate. That plant also makes small cars, including the Yaris sedan, Scion xB and Scion xD. The Toyota parent company also has two parts plants in the region.

Toyota spokesman Mike Michels said it is not clear yet if U.S.-bound Scions are impacted by the situation.

"As for production from here out, we will make a decision after we get a handle on the situation," Corbett said, about when the northern plants would reopen.

Toyota plants near the company's headquarters in Toyota City, in central Japan, had resumed normal production after brief shutdowns, Corbett said. There were no reports of injuries from those factories. Possible damage was still being assessed.

Death at Honda; fires at Nissan

Toyota also was confirming damage at its suppliers. Toyota Boshoku Corp. and Denso Corp., two of Toyota's biggest parts makers, both were said to have suffered some plant damage.

Honda shut down two assembly plants immediately after the temblor, spokesman Keitaro Yamamoto said. Honda's Suzuka plant in central Japan soon resumed production.

But the company's Sayama plant, north of Tokyo and closer to the epicenter, remained closed late Friday evening. Yamamoto said Honda headquarters was having difficulty contacting its plants. The Sayama plant makes several U.S.-bound models.

It sends the Fit small car, Accord sedan and the CR-V crossover to the United States, as well as the Acura RL and Acura TSX, Yamamoto said.

The company was unsure when production would resume. But Honda would close its r&d center and the Sayama and Suzuka factories at least through Monday, Yamamoto said.

At Honda's r&d center in Tochigi prefecture, one person died and 30 were injured when the quake toppled a wall at the center's cafeteria. No other injuries were reported.

Nissan Motor Co. also suspended operations at factories throughout eastern Japan. Small fires broke out at two assembly plants, including the factory producing the Infiniti M sedan and GT-R sports car. They were quickly extinguished, the company said.

The company also evacuated employees from its technology center south of Tokyo after the power was cut off there.

Nissan said plants would stay closed over the weekend. It will decide whether to resume production on Monday after assessing the quake damage.

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., the maker of Subaru cars, closed five factories, said Kenta Matsumoto, a spokesman for the Tokyo-based company.

Truck maker Volvo AB was also among those worst hit as its main production operation in Japan was forced to suspend output.

The Swedish company, among the world's leading truck makers, said damage to its UD Trucks facilities in Ageo in southeastern Japan was mainly superficial. But it will be days before the company can do a full assessment, Volvo Trucks said.

Volvo employs 10,000 people in Japan, and another 3,000 work at UD Trucks' dealerships.

Volvo said the dealership at Sendai, close to the earthquake's epicenter, had been seriously damaged, and it couldn't yet say how other dealerships had been affected, Dow Jones reported.

:eek: :(

Daddy Daycare
20,305 Posts
The Celica was made at Kanto. I hope that's not why they went for a Tsunami edition.

1,080 Posts
Mazda looks like they weren't affected:

Mazda HQ in Hiroshima, Japan
A major earthquake took place in the North-Eastern coast of Japan that measured 8.9 magnitude on the Richter Scale was followed by a Tsunami that caused significant damages so far.

The quake hit at 14:46 local time (05:46 GMT) at a depth of about 24km.

"The earthquake has caused major damage in broad areas in northern Japan," Prime Minister Naoto Kan said at a news conference.

Hiroshi Sato, a disaster management official in northern Iwate prefecture, said officials were having trouble getting an overall picture of the destruction.

"We don't even know the extent of damage. Roads were badly damaged and cut off as tsunami washed away debris, cars and many other things," he said.

Mazda’s headquarters and assembly plants in Hiroshima are located about 1,000 km South-West of the affected area and, although the quake was felt there, no damage has been reported. The Japanese automaker ensures that nobody was injured and, as no work-stoppage is necessary, the next shift will proceed as planned.

“Although we speculate there will be some damage to dealerships north of Tokyo,” said Jeff Guyton, President and CEO of Mazda Motor Europe, “Mazda facilities and people, so far as we know at this moment, are safe. Our thoughts go out to everyone in the affected areas and we hope that help comes quickly and the damage is limited.”

Japan's worst previous quake was in 1923 in Kanto, an 8.3-magnitude one that killed 143,000 people, according to USGS. A 7.2-magnitude quake in Kobe city in 1996 killed 6,400 people.

Super Moderator
46,270 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Toyota Statement Regarding Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan
Toyota's associates and team members in North America extend our heartfelt sympathy and deepest condolences to the people of Japan, our colleagues and their families.

Currently, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has established a company-wide emergency task force to assess the situation and take initial measures.

As of now, Toyota has confirmed that there have been no injuries at the Tokyo head office, as well as the Higashifuji, Tochigi office, Yamanashi office, and Toyota Motor Tohoku facilities.

We are continuing to gather information on our other operations in Japan.

All TMC plants have restarted production.

The plants that have stopped production are Toyota subsidiary plants that produce parts and vehicles, including:

* Toyota Motor Hokkaido Plant
* Toyota Motor Tohoku Plant
* Central Motor Corporation Miyagi Plant, which also produces the Yaris model.
* Kanto Auto Works Iwate Plant, which also produces the Scion xB and Scion xD.

Employees at these facilities have been evacuated to safe areas.

We are also currently assessing the situation at our suppliers, dealers and the impact on North American import vehicles.

Toyota’s number one priority is to support our employees at TMC, our partner companies, suppliers and dealers through this situation.

We will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available.

Super Moderator
46,270 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Earthquake Impact on Honda Operations
Damage was widespread in the Tochigi area, where Honda has a number of operations. Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has confirmed the fatality of a Honda R&D associate at the Tochigi R&D Center, when a wall collapsed in a cafeteria. The associate was male, 43 years old.

More than 30 Honda associates were injured in the Tochigi area from collapsing ceilings and other damage during the earthquake.

Honda would like to express its sincere condolences to the family of the associate who died as a result of this earthquake. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan and all those injured or displaced by this tragedy.

* Some Honda plants have closed in Japan, and will remain closed through Monday.
o Tochigi Engine, transmission and chassis parts.
o Saitama Two plants: Sayama plant in the Saitama factory produces CR-V, Accord, U.S. Fit, Acura RL and TSX. In addition, Ogawa Plant in the Saitama factory produces automobile engines.
o Hamamatsu Two plants -- automobile transmissions, outboard marine engines.
o Suzuka operated Friday, will not be in production Monday. This factory produces Japan Fit, Civic, Civic Hybrid, Insight and Honda CR-Z (all hybrid models).
o Kumamoto Factory in southern Japan remains in operation (motorcycles).

Honda in Japan is assessing the resumption of operations and the long-term impact to its operations from the Japan earthquake.

North America
There is no immediate impact on Honda's operations in North America. More than 80% of Honda and Acura products sold in the U.S. are produced in North America. The vast majority of automotive parts for Honda automobiles manufactured in North America are sourced in the region.

Honda is assessing the long-term impact, if any, on Honda auto production in North America, since some auto parts are supplied from Japan.

There will be no major impact on the availability of Honda products in North America. Honda Fit, Insight and CR-Z, and Acura TSX and RL are produced in Japan. A small percentage of CR-Vs are produced in Japan.

Honda has confirmed the wellbeing of nearly all Honda associates on assignment in Japan from North America, and continues to seek such confirmation.

Honda's operations in North America and globally will do everything they can to support the recovery of Honda's operations in Japan.

Super Moderator
46,270 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Report following the earthquake in Northern Japan
At 14:46 JST, a strong earthquake hit Northern Japan. The following is a report related to Nissan operations.


* Iwaki Plant (Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture), Tochigi Plant (Kawachi County, Tochigi Prefecture), Yokohama Plant (Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture), Oppama Plant (Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture), Zama Operations Center (Zama City, Kanagawa Prefecture) all suspended operations immediately.
* Small fires broke out at the Tochigi Plant and the Iwaki Plant casting facilities but have been extinguished.


* Evacuations have begun at locations close to the coastline, where tsunami warnings have been issued.
* Two employees at Tochigi Plant suffered minor injuries.
* The company has advised employees to remain inside facilities where it is safe. However, those who are able to walk home are allowed to leave their offices based on their personal discretion.
* Power outage confirmed at the Nissan Technical Center (Atsugi City, Kanagawa Prefecture). Employees who were remaining in that facility are now evacuating to the Nissan Advanced Technology Center (Atsugi City, Kanagawa Prefecture) nearby.

Plans after tomorrow

* Plants will suspend operations originally planned for Saturday March 12 and Sunday March 13.
* Operations after Monday, March 14, for all plants and facilities including the Global Headquarters (Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture), will be decided after all assessments including suppliers, are conducted tomorrow, March 12.


* Some dealerships in the Kanto region (area surrounding Tokyo) have reported damage. Reports regarding dealerships in Northern Japan are yet to be confirmed.

Super Moderator
46,270 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Earthquake Could Slow Delivery Of Japanese Cars
The powerful earthquake in Japan and the resulting tsunami caused plant shutdowns and disrupted ports from which cars are shipped to the U.S. While damage was mostly minor at inland auto factories, companies are still assessing damage to the ports.

Toyota says its main plants that shut down are running again and Honda says some of its plants will remain closed through Monday. The overall effect on production is expected to be small, but it is unclear how soon regular car shipments will resume. The result could be barely-noticeable ripples in the supply of certain models in the U.S. this spring. But if ports in Japan are unable to restore their full capacity quickly, some models could start getting rare here in a month or two.

It takes weeks for cars to make the trip from Japan to U.S. dealerships. Huge specialized car-carrying ships deliver them to west-coast ports or travel east through the Panama Canal. So the effects of the quake on the supply of cars won’t be felt here for awhile. Car makers like Toyota, Honda and Nissan also build several models in the U.S, so the degree of disruption from the quake will vary from one model to the next.

As gasoline prices continue to rise in the U.S., analysts have predicted increased interest in small economy cars. Some of those models, like the Toyota Yaris and Scion vehicles, and Honda’s Fit and Insight, could be in short supply — and more expensive — just as the weather gets warm and the spring and summer driving season ramps up.

Super Moderator
46,270 Posts
Discussion Starter #13

Japanese Carmakers Say No Radiation Risk Expected on Exported Vehicles
# Honda, Nissan and Toyota say they are not concerned about radiation risks on vehicles exported to the U.S., in light of ongoing nuclear plant worries after Japan's devastating earthquake.
# Honda said its assembly plants "aren't located anywhere near the damaged reactors."
# A Nissan powertrain plant is located 35 miles from one of the damaged reactors, but the automaker said it is taking "all necessary precautions to ensure that harmful material is not brought into" the U.S.
# Toyota said most of its operations in Japan are "far from the earthquake zone and contamination sources."
GM donates $750,000 to Japanese earthquake relief efforts
General Motors announced this morning that their GM Foundation has approved an immediate donation of $500,000 to the American Red Cross as a part of the relief efforts in Japan following the earthquake, tsunami and string of nuclear explosions.
Donations for Japan Continue, Fiat Offers €100,000, Mercedes-Benz gives €2 Million
The donations for Japan keep coming in, with Mercedes-Benz’s parent company Daimler announcing today that it will provide €2 million (about US$2.8 million at today’s exchange rates) as immediate aid for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in the Asian country. Daimler said it has approximately 13,000 employees in Japan through its subsidiaries Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation, Mercedes-Benz Japan, as well as Daimler Financial Services.

The Fiat Group, which includes Alfa Romeo, Lancia, the Fiat brand, Abarth, Maserati and Ferrari, also announced a donation for relief efforts in Japan, albeit a much smaller amount at €100,000 (about $US140,000).
US auto industry hit by supplier shortages in wake of Japanese Tsunami
Since the massive earthquake and following tsunami hammered Japan, even the American automakers may face shortages throughout their supply chain but the Japanese automakers have obviously been hit the hardest by Mother Nature over the past week.
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