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Toyota to suspend 18 assembly lines following quake in Japan

Japanese manufacturers began restarting production at some plants in the country's quake-hit northeast
Published 18 Mar, 2022 02:10pm
Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Japanese manufacturers began restarting production at some plants in the country's quake-hit northeast, but Toyota Motor Corp 7203.T said it plans to idle 18 assembly lines for a few days next week due to a shortage of parts from suppliers.

On one hand, the limited damage caused by the magnitude 7.4 temblor has highlighted Japan's success in building resilience against the frequent tremors that shake the archipelago.

But the quake has sparked concerns of further disruptions to a pandemic-hit global supply chain for precision components vital to electronics and autos production and in which Japanese manufacturers play a leading role.

Toyota, the world's largest automaker by sales volume, said it will idle the 18 lines at 11 domestic factories, mostly for three days.

It had suspended operations at three factories due to the quake and sees lost production of 20,000 units due to the stoppages. Toyota has already cut its global production target due to the ongoing chip shortage.

Murata Manufacturing Co Ltd 6981.T, the top global supplier of ceramic capacitors used in smartphones and cars, said it is restarting production on Friday at two of four factories that were idled.

The other two remain out of action, a spokesperson for the Kyoto-based firm said, noting a fire that broke out at a factory which produces chip inductors caused some damage to equipment.

The company, which also has production facilities in Malaysia, said it is shipping from its stockpile.

Power has mostly been restored across the northeast, which suffered Japan's biggest earthquake 11 years ago. Areas of Tokyo lost power for nearly three hours after the latest quake, in which three people died and 183 were injured.

The blackout has forced the disposal of some COVID-19 vaccines held in cool storage, the Yomiuri newspaper reported.

Tech conglomerate Sony Group Corp 6758.T is in the process of gradually restarting production at three factories in the quake-hit area, a spokesperson said.

There is some damage to a facility in Shiroishi, Miyagi prefecture which produces laser diodes but the impact on production is limited, Sony said.

Renesas Electronics Corp 6723.T, which makes nearly a third of the microcontroller chips used in cars globally, said a stop on two factories and a partial stop on a third remained in place.




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