With the continuing parts shortages that resulted from the earthquake in Japan, Mazda Motor Corp. and Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. have extended production shutdowns in Japan through March 20, 2011. Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said that for now it would go back to work.
As most of its plants are in central Japan, Mitsubishi kept all its assembly plants closed on March 14, 2011 and March 15, 2011. It had planned to reopen on March 16, 2011. However, Mitsubishi said it had secured enough parts to keep operating through March 17, 2011.
Mazda had originally said its two assembly plants would be closed through March 16, 2011. Fuji Heavy, which also had planned shutdowns through March 16, 2011, also extended them through March 20, 2011. The country’s seven big automakers extended nationwide production shutdowns after parts shortages, power outages and concerns on damaged export facilities.
Partly to give workers time to reunite with their families, carmakers are extending the shutdowns - even at facilities not affected by the March 11, 2011 9.0-magnitude earthquake.
With automakers still unable to contact some parts makers in the quake zone days after the disaster, Japan’s supply chain has been affected. Production in the United States may be hindered if plants there are unable to get parts normally imported from Japan.