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Major Automotive Manufacturers Impacted by Crisis in Japan

GM, Honda, Mazda, and Toyota among the manufacturers making adjustments to limit disruptions in the supply chain.

MAZDA

On March 24 Mazda Motor Corporation  announced it will suspend the production of vehicles utilizing "in-process" inventory at its Hofu plant from March 28 onward. Mazda had temporarily resumed partial production at its Hiroshima and Hofu plans on March 22, producing replacement parts and parts for overseas production and vehicles utilizing in-process inventories. A decision on the resumption of full-scale production of both parts and vehicles will be made at a later date, according to a statement released by Mazda Motor Corporation.
 

HONDA

With respect to Honda’s Japan operations, the company announced the following: 
 

  • The suspension of automobile production, which began March 14, was extended today through Sunday, March 27, at the following locations: Sayama Plant at Saitama Factory (Sayama, Saitama); Suzuka Factory (Suzuka, Mie).  The same March 27 timing applies at the Kumamoto Factory (Ozu-machi, Kikuchi-gun, Kumamoto), where motorcycles are produced. 
  • Concerning operations in Japan from March 28 on, Honda will make decisions based on the status of the recovery of Japanese society as a whole, as well as its supply of parts.
  • Honda is cooperating with electricity conservation efforts and rolling blackout measures, prioritizing the relief and recovery of affected areas. Our decision to resume production could be affected by the needs of Japanese society as a whole.
  • Honda has made contact with all Tier 1 suppliers in Japan and is collecting information from them regarding the status of their operations.

Regarding its North American operations, Honda said there is no immediate impact More than 80% of Honda and Acura products sold in the U.S. are produced in North America, and the vast majority of automotive parts for Honda automobiles manufactured in North America are sourced in the region.

Likewise, Honda’s U.S. and Canadian and Mexico Honda plants are continuing normal output of finished vehicles. In addition, Honda said it is continuing to monitor the long-term impact of the events in Japan on Honda auto production in North America because “some auto parts” are supplied from Japan.

The following vehicles Honda builds in North America are supported primarily by its base of 600-plus North American Tier 1 suppliers:
 

  • Marysville, Ohio: Honda Accord, Honda Accord Coupe, Acura TL, Acura RDX
  • East Liberty, Ohio: Honda CR-V, Honda Element, Honda Accord Crosstour
  • Greensburg, Ind.: Honda Civic Sedan, Honda Civic GX natural gas
  • Lincoln, Alabama: Honda Odyssey, Honda Pilot, Honda Ridgeline
  • Alliston, Ontario: Honda Civic (Sedan, Coupe, Si) Acura MDX, Acura ZDX, Acura CSX (The CSX is sold only in Canada)
  • El Salto, Mexico: Honda CR-V

Honda stated that it currently has adequate inventory of products supplied from Japan. Honda Fit, Insight, CR-Z, Civic Hybrid, Acura TSX and Acura RL are produced in Japan for the North American market. Honda produces a small percentage of CR-Vs in Japan for the U.S. as well.

According to a statement: “Honda’s operations in North America and globally will do everything they can to support the recovery of Honda’s operations in Japan. We deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause our customers, and request their understanding during these challenging times.”

TOYOTA

On Thursday, March 24, Toyota Motor Corporation announced that it will resume Japan production Monday of Prius along with the Lexus CT 200h and HS 250h. The Prius production will be restarted at TMC’s Tsutsumi plant, while the Lexus CT 200h and HS 250h will resume production at Toyota Motor Kyushu. The announcement comes one week after Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan restarted production of replacement parts, and three days after reopening some of its plants that produce parts for overseas production.

Toyota Motor Corporation said will continue to assess parts supply as it considers the restart of other vehicle plants in Japan, and will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available. Currently, the greatest majority of parts for Toyota’s North America-built vehicles come from approximately 500 suppliers in North America. Additionally, Toyota continues to receive parts from Japan that were already in the pipeline, thereby limiting the immediate impact.

Toyota vowed to continue working closely with suppliers in North America and Japan to minimize any disruptions to Toyota’s overall North American operations. “Dealerships continue to have an ample supply of vehicles, our ships continue to deliver vehicles to North America, and we are doing all we can to ensure our dealers have products available for customers,” noted an official company statement.

GENERAL MOTORS

Production in two GM truck plants (Buffalo, N.Y., and Shreveport, La.,) has been halted due to disruptions in the parts supply chain as a result of the crisis in Japan. In response, GM said it is constantly assessing the situation and anticipating adjustments in its plants around the world, as needed. These adjustments may include: optimizing the usage of parts that are—or will be—in short supply; modifications to manufacturing schedules; and temporary suspensions of production.

“Like all global auto makers, we will continue to follow the events in Japan closely to determine the business impact, working across the organization to maximize flexibility, supply the most critical operations and effectively manage cost,” GM said in an official statement. “Our hearts and prayers are with the people of Japan and their families as they work to recover from this disaster.”

GM had suspended production at the Shreveport Assembly for the week of March 21. It plans to resume production there as soon as possible.
 

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