A quick post on Salon touched on this last week, but it looks like things aren’t getting any better for Toyota. The big quake that hit Japan last monday and cracked open a nuclear plant also did major damage to the piston ring factory in Niigata — which happens to be *the* piston ring maker for most big auto makes in the country, and Japanese automakers operate with an on-demand supply system. Production at Toyota has been brought to a standstill, and only today Toyota announced they aim to be back to work wednesday. Hopefully. Snip:
Production at Toyota Corp.’s 12 Japanese plants remained shut down Monday because of a shortage of critical parts from Riken Corp., which is struggling to restore its own operations following last week’s earthquake, according to media reports.
The Nikkei News reported a Toyota (TM) spokesman said the automaker has run out of components necessary to restart its production lines in Japan, which produce about 11,000 vehicles daily. The spokesman also said it was unclear if production would resume Tuesday. Production at Toyota’s assembly lines has been disrupted since July 19, resulting in an output loss of about 46,000 vehicles, according to the company spokesman.
Riken resumed limited shipments of automotive parts to some customers Monday, according to reports. The engine-parts maker was able to partially restart some production lines Sunday at its Kashiwazaki factory in Niigata prefecture, which had seen production disrupted since a powerful earthquake affected the region last week.
Riken holds a 50% market share in Japan in piston rings for engines and a 70% share in transmission sealant components, Nikkei News previously reported. It also supplies major European manufacturers. The disruption of Riken production has led to shortages and shutdowns at Japanese automotive and machinery makers.
The resumption of the automotive-part supply chain enabled Isuzu Motors Ltd.and Daihatsu Motor Co.to resume partial production Monday, however operations at the two car firms will not return to normal until next week at the earlier, the Nikkei reported.
Truck makers Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp. and Nissan Diesel Motor Corpalso resumed operations Monday, while Daihatsu Motor Co.was able to resume partial operations at two of its four factories. Suzuki Motor Crop.restarted production at its motorcycle assembly plants Monday, however its car and truck plants remain shut, according to reports.
Production at Toyota’s assembly lines has been disrupted since July 19, resulting in an output loss of about 46,000 vehicles, according to the company spokesman.