Volkswagen says its production was not affected by the earthquake in Japan

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 30, 2011

Volkswagen AG’s CEO Martin Winterkorn said at a recent press conference in Salzburg, Austria that its production has not been affected by disruptions at Japanese parts makers because of the March 11, 2011 earthquake, adding that VW is well-supplied through next week.

However, Winterkorn added that predictions beyond next week are impossible to ascertain due to the shifting situation in Japan.

Starting April 4, 2011, Ford Motor Co. plans to idle its Genk, Belgium auto plant for five days to conserve parts following Japan’s earthquake and nuclear crisis. PSA/Peugeot-Citroen SA and General Motors Co. also cut production at European factories due to disrupted supplies.

PSA recently said conditions could soon return to pre-crisis production levels at its plants, says Autonews.

According to a March 22, 2011 report from analyst Morgan Stanley, it will take weeks to assess what parts are in short supplies and to make plans for alternative sourcing. Japan supplies electronic content like semiconductors, sensors and batteries.

The report added electronic content is estimated to be considerably higher than $5,000 (about EUR3,540) per car. VW, which has no facilities in Japan, set up a task force two weeks ago to make sure that production at its 61 factories worldwide are not affected by stoppages at Japanese component suppliers.

The quake has disrupted the production at parts suppliers. In particular, Aisin Seiki Co., Denso Corp. and Renesas Electronics Corp. have halted most or some of their operations.

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