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Japanese Tragedy Likely To Impact Vehicle & Parts Availability 2-4 Months

Apr 26, 2011

According to the trade press, the retail automotive industry is taking steps to cope as the impact of the Japan quake and its disruption of vehicle and parts production hits North America. While a few dealers are already seeing a tighter supply of vehicles and parts, it is estimated that the full force of the disruption will be felt from May through August. So far the domestic manufacturers have reported only minor snags, while Japanese automakers are suffering from disruptions at both Japanese and U.S. plants. Parts are also being conserved. Toyota Motor Corporation, Honda Motor Company and Nissan Motor Company have already reduced production in North America. In addition, several automakers have restricted the vehicles, trim levels and parts their dealers can order. At General Motors, a team of employees in purchasing, manufacturing and supply chain management are identifying at-risk components and seeking replacements for affected parts in order to blunt any impact. In North America, Toyota will halt vehicle production for several days and has already eliminated overtime and some Saturday production in order to conserve parts coming from Japan, reports Automotive News. Honda has cut vehicle assembly in North America and shortages of Japanese parts are expected to bring more production cuts later. Honda went on half-time production schedules at most North American plants on March 29. Honda’s plants in Japan have been closed since the earthquake on March 11.