Several Japanese manufacturers have resumed production of auto parts in Japan, although in a limited capacity. Industrial output in Japan has been disrupted for over a week ever since the earthquake. Manufacturers continue to experience rolling power outages, aftershocks and delays in the supply chain.
Industry consultant IHS Automotive Insight said in its report last Monday that in the first couple of weeks after the earthquake, Japan automakers are expected to lose about 65% in light vehicle production.
Typically, Japan produces about 37,200 vehicles per day, or about 521,000 in a two-week period. IHS estimated that through Friday, the industry would have lost nearly 338,000 vehicles.
IHS said that so far, the production loss outside Japan has reached about 10,000 vehicles, but this number is expected to rise "exponentially" as the tragedy affects more parts suppliers and as the stockpiles of components for cars and trucks built overseas are being used up.
Last Monday, Nissan Motor Co. resumed output at several of its parts factories. It is also scheduled to restart operations at six other plants and some vehicle assembly plants on Thursday.
Unfortunately, water, electricity and gas are scarce at Nissan's facilities in Iwaki, located in the same prefecture where Tokyo Electric Power Co. workers are fighting to avoid a nuclear meltdown.
The affected Nissan sites include a key engine plant. David Reuter, head of communications for Nissan's U.S. arm, said that the North American production is not being affected by the stoppage at Iwaki. But it might be affected in the long-term and that’s what the company is currently assessing.