The impact of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami has now reached the U.S., two automakers announcing plans to cut back on production due to potential shortages of imported components.
Other Japanese makers are still assessing the situation, as are Detroit’s Big Three, all of which import parts and components from Japan.
“We’re watching hour-by-hour, part-by-part,” said a senior industry executive asking not to be identified by name.
Subaru of America says it is suspending indefinitely production at its assembly plant in Lafayette, Indiana. The factory produces the maker’s Outback, Tribeca and Legacy sedan models. There are 3,500 U.S. workers at the factory, which last year produced 150,000 vehicles.
The shutdown could disrupt Subaru’s steady growth in the American market. The maker last year posted an all-time sales record of 263,820 vehicles, a 16% increase.