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Color Me at a Loss – Japan Crisis Leaves Ford Short of Paint

Maker curbing orders for several popular shades.

by on Mar.25, 2011

Ford will not take orders for three shades of red, and for Tuxedo Black, on a number of models, including Fiesta.

Automakers are facing increasingly problems due to the natural disaster that struck Japan two weeks ago, resulting in damage to a yet-unknown number of Japanese automotive parts plants.  But while some makers are already curbing production due to shortages of electronic engine controllers, plastic parts and rubber products, Ford Motor Co. is telling its dealers it won’t be able to take orders for some of its most popular car colors.

Blame a shortage of pigments specifically produced in the Northeast of Japan – where the quake and subsequent tsunami did the most damage.  The maker says it is running out of the necessary ingredients for Tuxedo Black and three different shades of red.

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That will force customers to either wait or shift to alternate colors for a variety of models including the Ford Explorer, Taurus, F-150, Fiesta and Expedition, as well as the Lincoln Navigator and MKZ, according to the automaker.

The maker says it has enough of the pigments on hand for current orders but doesn’t want to keep new buyers waiting should its Japanese supplier not be able to get back up and running anytime soon.  In the meantime, said a spokesman, “We’re working to find alternative suppliers.”


Prices Already on Rise for Japanese Cars, Trucks

GM shuts plant in Louisiana; loss of hybrid plant could impact Prius supplies.

by on Mar.18, 2011

Storm clouds on the horizon? With a battery supplier down, could Toyota be facing a Prius shortage - and rising prices for buyers?

If you’ve got your eye on a new Japanese car, truck or crossover, you may need to stretch your budget a bit more than you anticipated.  A number of online services that track automotive pricing report that Asian makers and their dealers are already beginning to curb incentives and even raise prices in the wake of the earthquake-fueled crisis that has all but shut down the Japanese auto industry.

While makers such as Toyota, Nissan and Honda say they have adequate supplies available for U.S. customers, the situation clearly depends on which product you’re looking for.  With fuel prices at two-year highs, demand was already on the rise, prior to the quake, for hybrids and other high-mileage vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius and Honda Fit.

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And with most of the automotive assembly plants in Japan still closed, vehicle shortages are mounting.  Things are a bit better here, where only Subaru has halted operations at its Indiana-based “transplant” assembly line due to parts shortages.  But analysts worry that more transplants could soon feel the impact.