Japanese automakers halt production after earthquake, tsunami


Japan’s automotive manufacturers have halted production in plants across Japan today after last week’s devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

Most automakers say the stoppage will continue until at least Wednesday as priority shifts to supporting the relief efforts.

There is no word on how the worldwide supply of parts and vehicles would be affected. According to Automotive News, Toyota’s decision to shutter operations at plants till Wednesday will reduce output by roughly 40,000 vehicles.

News reports say Mitsubishi Motors Corp. announced it would cease work at all its factories through Tuesday. By Monday evening in Japan, Honda, Nissan, Subaru and Suzuki said shutdowns initially planned only for the start of the week would be extended to later in the week.

Mazda has also said it would suspend operations for the time being.

The 8.9-magnitude quake struck in the early morning hours on Friday morning, causing widespread damage in Northern Japan and triggering a tsunami that has devastated much of the nation’s eastern coast.

Even if automakers could continue to produce vehicles, questions about the country’s power supply and its exporting capabilities remain unanswered.

While nearly every Canadian arm of the affected Japanese automakers have issued releases expressing sympathy and pledging support for co-workers, there is no word yet on how production shutdowns will impact supply at Canadian dealerships.

Click back to Canadian AutoWorld for more updates on how the Japanese earthquake will affect the Canadian vehicle supply chain.

- With files from Automotive News