Shortage looms for vehicle parts

Published by rudy Date posted on March 31, 2011

JAPANESE carmakers, facing electricity shortages after the nation’s record earthquake crippled power plants, may consider measures including rotating production to save energy, Toyota Motor Corp. said.

Taking turns running assembly lines was among the measures that should be considered as automakers coordinated efforts through their main industry group, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Masami Doi, a spokesman for Toyota, said Tuesday.

Manufacturers face a cut in summer power supply of about 15 percent after the March 11 temblor knocked out generators, curbing growth in the world’s third-largest economy.

Plant damage and power outages have forced carmakers including Toyota and Honda Motor Co. to halt domestic car assembly, causing Toyota to lose an estimated 140,000 units of production so far.

Automakers were expected to meet “shortly” to discuss a rotation schedule as they sought to avoid scheduled blackouts in exchange for reducing their power use, Kyodo reported Monday.

Other industries might take similar measures, Kyodo said.

Toshitake Inoshita, a spokesman for Nissan Motor Co., Japan’s second-largest carmaker, said no discussions had taken place about rotating production or any other detailed plans. The auto industry would cooperate as much as possible to save power, Inoshita said.

The magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami crippled Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi atomic plant, triggering the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986. Bloomberg

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