Small Japanese carmakers resumed limited production following the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, while Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. extended factory shutdowns through the weekend. Making up the majority of closed assembly plants, Honda and Toyota recently said that parts shortages would keep their factories closed longer than previously anticipated.
With an R&D center and an assembly plant in the disaster zone, Honda – which had earlier said operations would be shut down through March 23, 2011 -- said it would suspend production through March 27, 2011.
Meanwhile, Toyota said to Autonews that it would suspend operations at its 18 domestic assembly plants, including those run by affiliates, through March 26, 2011. The extended shutdowns will continue to stop the production of some of those companies' main exports to the United States, including the Toyota Prius, Corolla and RAV4 as well as the Honda CR-V and Fit.
Other vehicles affected include the Subaru Forester, Nissan Rogue and Infiniti, Acura and Lexus models. Nissan Motor Co. said it aims to reopen five plants on March 24, 2011.
One of the five Nissan plants is the Tochigi assembly plant that’s located in the quake zone. This facility builds Infiniti products as well as the GT-R and 350Z sports cars. Mitsubishi has just reopened three assembly plants and other carmakers resumed temporary production on the condition that part supplies last.