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Posts Tagged ‘auto parts shortage’

Color Me Relieved: Japanese Paint Plant Back Online

Loss of pigments colored what paint choices American buyers were offered.

by on May.10, 2011

Ford will soon be able to offer the Harley-Davidson F-150 in its signature Tuxedo Black again.

The automotive world is about to become a little more colorful thanks to the resumption of production at a plant in Onahama, Japan that produces some key paint pigments used by automakers around the world.

The plant, owned by the chemical giant Merck, is the only source for some key ingredients required to make such popular hues as Ford’s Tuxedo Black, a high-glass metallic hue offered on a variety of the maker’s products.  Production was halted on March 11, when Japan was struck by a devastating earthquake and tsunami, followed by a crisis at a key nuclear power plant that has left the island nation struggling for electricity.

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As a result of the shortage of Merck’s Xirallic pigment, Ford, Toyota and a number of other automakers around the world were forced to either stop taking orders for colors like Tuxedo Black or offer customers some alternatives.

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Nissan to Increase North American Production, Trim Use of Japanese Parts

Maker also announces more Leaf battery cars coming to U.S.

by on Apr.21, 2011

Nissan will sharply increase the use of locally-produced parts, reducing its reliance on Japanese suppliers.

Nissan will sharply expand the use of locally-produced parts at its North American assembly plants, said Carlos Tavares, president of Nissan Americas.

That move will come at the same time the second-largest Japanese maker shifts production of more of its vehicles, including the Rogue crossover from Japan to factories in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

“We will significantly reduce the number of parts coming from Japan,” said Tavares, keynote speaker at the 2011 New York Auto Show.  The goal is to jump from the current level of 69% locally-sourced components to 85%, he added.

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Like rivals Honda and Toyota, Nissan was hard hit by the series of disasters that struck Japan on March 11, losing the better part of a month of production in the home market alone.  But Tavares said all of Nissan’s plants are now in operation, the maker having found ways to “bypass parts shortages” caused by the crisis.

In his speech and a subsequent question-and-answer session, the Portugese-born (more…)