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Plants in Japan after the Earthquake

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  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,936
    "Japanese car production plunged in April as manufacturers continued to face a shortfall in parts supply.

    Toyota, the world's biggest carmaker, said its domestic production fell 74.5% compared with the same month last year.

    Honda's Japanese output plummeted 81%, while Nissan reported a 48.7% decline at its factories in Japan."

    Japan's car production plunges due to parts shortages (BBC)

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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Subaru is planning to take measures to counteract the impact an expected super-low inventory will have this summer:

    Tom Doll, Subaru of America COO, said the automaker's inventory could drop to 17,000 units this summer, leaving some dealers without cars to sell. On May 1, Subaru's North American inventory was 32,800 units.

    We'll be down to cash-for-clunkers levels by August," Doll said on the sidelines of an industry event here. "We're looking at retail solutions."

    Doll would not disclose the nature of the assistance but said Subaru's global headquarters is considering a proposal. If approved, new programs will be unveiled by July.

    Subaru's main plant is in Gunma prefecture, north of Tokyo. The company produces the Legacy, Outback and Tribeca in Lafayette, Ind.

    Doll said Subaru could see a 20 percent drop in U.S. sales this year after a record 263,820 units sold in 2010. Subaru sold 216,652 units in 2009 and expected to sell 300,000 units this year.

    Doll's biggest concern is the brand's newest markets. He said Subaru was able to increase its dealer body by adding former Chrysler Group and General Motors stores in the South. Now, lacking inventory, he wants to keep everyone happy.

    .....He said the company is considering ways to help its retail network, including assistance for salespeople and customers.

    Subaru already is extending lease terms by three to five months, offering maintenance programs and free accessories such as ski racks.


    http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110530/RETAIL07/305309972/1- 422

    Kinda stinks for Soob, which had been doing so well when everyone else was falling apart, to get knocked out by the earthquake this way. But I really question the wisdom of them sending 50,000 Camrys down the line this year in Indiana, when they could potentially be sending 50,000 Foresters down the line instead. Yes, they are in contract with Toyota to provide the Camrys, but surely Toyota would allow them to switch it up given it has a financial interest in their success.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, they gave away a full assembly line. Then again, Tribeca could not fill up the volume, and SIA is only set up to build Legacy/Outback/Tribeca models.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,734
    Yeah, they gave away a full assembly line. Then again, Tribeca could not fill up the volume, and SIA is only set up to build Legacy/Outback/Tribeca models.

    Ding ding ding. It wouldn't make sense to retool Lafayette for the Forester since the shortage is temporary. And it's probably suppliers having a hard time so there wouldn't be parts to use in Lafayette either.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The tsunami shows that even a small manufacturer has to hedge their bets.

    They have a new Impreza coming and simply won't have enough cars to sell.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Sure seems like they should dump the zero-sales Tribeca and build Foresters in Lafayette though, doesn't it? I know there has been some talk of it, but nothing definite yet....

    ...I figure that one day Impreza will be the last Subaru for NA sales still being built exclusively in Japan.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,734
    It would be nice but it would require a new line. IIRC, the Forester does not share a platform with the Outback/Tribeca so it can't share the line.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,936
    "The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) has recommended that from July 1 to September 30 auto companies switch their working week to include Saturdays and Sundays and then have Thursdays and Fridays off. Electricity use is generally higher during the week than weekend, goes the theory, so with luck that’ll sidestep the power cuts. So far, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Mazda have confirmed the switch but others are bound to follow and that goes for headquarters and R&D staff and suppliers too. Privately, few seem overjoyed at the prospect of working weekends but will go along with it no doubt in the long held spirit of shoganai (can’t be helped)."

    The Heat Is On In Japan (AutoObserver)

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  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,734
    On top of this, Japan's Dept of Energy has recommended that worker forgo suits and ties this summer with the expected issues with power and air conditioning. Called Super Cool Biz, many people in the more "formal" agencies and businesses seem all flustered by the idea of chinos and polo shirts.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Casual work week? Could be one good thing to come out of the tsunami mess...
  • carthellcarthell Posts: 124
    Yeah, the hits keep coming.

    Todo list for Japan's power system:
    1) Build coal-powered plants.
    2) Integrate power systems in the north & south of the country so power can be transmitted efficiently to the places that need it (this depends on whether millions are willing to buy new products & equipment to accommodate a change. If they can't do it quickly, then they'll have to stretch out the integration over a length of time [10 years?]).

    Global Japanese car industry:
    1) Source and build more parts where they sell the vehicles.

    Although my last two vehicles were from Japanese subsidiaries, one of the important variables I use to make a car purchase is product support. I'm starting to save toward a down payment to a new car. If continuing problems in Japan hamper their ability to make vehicles a year from now, I'll have to review what the domestics, Koreans, and Germans have to offer.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,675
    I would take a good hard look at the South Koreans and Hyundai/Kia. You may be surprised at just how good they are. I have tasted two new Kia's and would buy another in a New York minute.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited June 2011
    They are cashing in on the misfortunes of the Japanese makes. Kia's sales were up more than 50% last month, and the funny thing is they had a GOOD year in 2010, so that says a lot!
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,936
    edited June 2011

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  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,734
    Well losing the rear view camera supplier is better than losing their ABS module supplier.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, no brakes! :D
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Why Japan is bouncing back so quickly

    unprecedented teamwork among erstwhile rivals helped everyone.

    For example, automakers collaborated to forestall a much-feared summer energy crunch that could hammer production just as it ramps up. To lessen the load on the local power grid -- but keep plants running -- the industry agreed as a group to work on weekends and take off Thursdays and Fridays.

    And don't downplay nearly unthinkable cooperation among competitors. Look no further than Iwaki Diecast Co., which makes aluminum engine parts. Because its plant was offline, Iwaki Diecast handed its blueprints to an unscathed rival who plugged the supply chain gap. Japan's Nikkei business daily chronicled several such sacrifices that sped everyone's recovery.

    Finally, it was probably naïve to believe the gloomy initial forecasts.

    Japanese executives are archconservative by nature. They consistently underpromise and overdeliver. It's a way of business here.

    ....Toyota's plants in Japan are operating at 90 percent of pre-quake levels. And even Honda, among the worst hit, aims to have its domestic production back to normal by August


    http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110613/OEM01/306139870/1424-

    I read in a separate article that despite the quake, Suzuki still has the second highest days supply of any automaker - 80 days' supply in the U.S. Closely followed by Mazda at 76 days, apparently. Only Saab is worse, at 246 days (!!).

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

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