Belfast Telegraph

Car plants shut down due to parts shortage after quake

Honda is extending its suspension of car and motorcycle production in Japan until Sunday amid a shortage of parts following the colossal earthquake and tsunami earlier this month.

Toyota will decide today when it will be able to resume production at 11 factories in Japan, said company spokeswoman Shiori Hashimoto. Japanese car firms are struggling with power cuts and a dwindling supply of components as a result of the March 11 disaster which devastated the north east of the country.

Toyota, the maker of the Prius hybrid and Lexus luxury models resumed some parts production last week.

The maker of Subaru cars, Fuji Heavy Industries, said it will start making parts for foreign production today and spare parts on Thursday but the shutdown at five car factories in Japan was extended until Thursday.

Japanese car makers are expected to rebound once they restart production following the quake and tsunami which killed at least 18,000 people.

But industry analysts say they will be hampered by power shortages and damaged roads.

Last week, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors restarted some plants using their stocks of parts.

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

The disaster-stricken north east is home mostly to tertiary parts-makers - the tiny machine shops which make parts for secondary and other suppliers.