Parts shortages are continuing to hit carmakers around the globe this week as a consequence of earthquake damage and energy shortages to Japanese supplier plants.
Toyota and Honda are extending production shutdowns at assembly plants in Japan. Toyota has lost output of around 140,000 vehicles, having suspended operations at all 18 of its plants around the country. Unconfirmed reports suggest production could be suspended until April 11th.
Honda has extended closures until at least Sunday April 3rd and expects to lose output of 46,000 units up to that date. It has also said it may have to limit production in North American plants from Friday this week because of parts shortages.
In a company update Honda said that: “Due to concerns related to the supply of a few critical parts from Japan…there is likelihood that we will experience some temporary interruptions to North American vehicle production after that date, until the parts supply issues are resolved.”
The company has also suspended US orders for vehicles made in Japan such as the Fit, Insight, CR-Z and Civic hybrids, as well as the Acura TSX and RL sedans.
Meanwhile, in Europe Ford has brought forward a planned shutdown at is Genk plant in Belgium for a week next week (from April 4th) as it tries to conserve parts. The company was due to have the five-day stoppage in May. The Genk plant produces the S-MAX and Galaxy minivans, and the Mondeo sedan.
Parts production is being hit by sub-component shortages. Renesas Electronics has said one of its plants in Japan that makes microcontrollers for automotive use could be shut until July. The plant in Naka (pictured) is one of two dedicated to automotive microcontroller production. A total of eight of Renesas’s factories were damaged in the earthquake. The chips, which control electronic components, are used in everything from engine control units to onboard telematics.
Elsewhere, as a result of an electronic components shortage at Hitachi, PSA Peugeot Citroën was forced to suspend diesel engine production last week, which led to output at seven of its assembly plants in Europe being adjusted. It expects to return to normal production by tomorrow, though the situation is under review.
In the UK, meanwhile, Jaguar Land Rover was forced to reduce output of its XF saloon last week because of a lack of LCD screens used in the model’s infotainment system.
Last week’s disruption to Opel/Vauxhall output in Europe, which involved the cancellation of late shifts at the Zaragoza plant in Spain and at Eisenach in Germany, is currently over, thanks in part to the sourcing of a component from the US.
“This week, we are building according to plan,” an Opel spokesman told Automotive Logistics News. “Also for next week, we are not aware of any disruptions at this point, but we will obviously monitor the situation very closely.”
He said that the company’s logistics team were looking at a range of options to deal with the situation, including alternative suppliers and alternative logistics channels.
Pic courtesy of Renesas Electronics Corporation