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Posts Tagged ‘japanese parts shortages’

Renesas Reboots

World’s largest auto chipmaker races to bring production back online months ahead of schedule.

by on Aug.29, 2011

Renesas is the single-largest supplier of automotive micro-controllers in the world.

In a matter of minutes, the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan’s northeast coast, last March, took tens of thousands of lives and created hundreds of billions of dollars in devastation.  Few industries felt the impact more directly than the automotive world – parts shortages still plaguing many of the industry’s major manufacturers.

While the March 11 disaster had a wide-ranging impact, causing shortages of a variety of parts, including plastic and rubber goods, perhaps the biggest problem was a shortage of electronic components.  Among the manufacturers hardest hit by the quake was Renesas Electronics, the world’s largest supplier of micro-controllers.

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Renesas provides 40% of the chips used by the automotive industry, and without those silicon circuits carmakers like Toyota and Honda saw many of their assembly lines come to a screeching halt.

Bringing its operations – which center around multi-billion-dollar “clean room” facilities in the region hardest hit by the March disaster – hasn’t been easy, but in recent weeks Renesas has been ramping operations back up and plans to be back to full capacity next month, learned during a discussion with senior executives from the chipmaker.


Honda Warns of Shortages of New Civic

Maker also delaying launch of new CR-V.

by on May.02, 2011

The Japanese parts shortage will mean shortages of the new Honda Civic - and a number of other models.

Honda has warned its U.S. dealers that it will be further cutting production due to the ongoing shortage of Japanese-made parts – which will likely result in a shortage of many products including the all-new Civic compact, which is just in the midst of what was supposed to be a high-profile launch.

The shortages will also force Honda to delay by at least a month the planned autumn launch of the updated 2012 CR-V crossover vehicle.

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Honda is not the only maker feeling the pinch, however.  Toyota, in particular, expects significant product shortages in the months ahead, and has delayed several key launches.  Meanwhile, even Detroit makers are preparing for production delays, Chrysler today warning it could see its original 2011 production plans reduced by as much as 100,000 vehicles.

“Our goal remains to normalize overall production sometime around the end of the year,” John Mendel, executive vice president of sales for American Honda, told U.S. dealers in a written memo.


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.