This year’s natural disasters in Japan have caused some of the largest devastation the world has ever seen. With these disasters came loss of life, loss of property and, for many of the survivors, loss of livelihoods. While we all come to terms with the tragedy it is important not to forget the progress which is being made by the resilient Japanese car makers. The table below gives us some understanding of the obstacles which must, and are being overcome to return the bruised industry back to pre-quake production levels. The table will also act as an aid for all those in need of up to date information on Japanese car parts and new car builds.
While many vehicles which were in short supply have now returned to pre-quake levels, there is still a section of vehicles which are either stuck in the supply chain or experiencing dramatically reduced production. Most car plants are now back to production albeit at lower level than prior to 14.46 (JST) on the 11th March 2011. Parts manufacturing has also seen a major disruption and, like vehicle production, resumption to previous levels may take over a year. With this disruption, parts shipments are also significantly setback and a return to normal inventory levels in non-Japanese markets will be slower as a result.
While there is much debate as to who was the hardest hit, it does seem that Honda, Mazda and Toyota seem to have suffered the largest losses as a result of the earthquake and the related events. After initial fears of mass job losses in the car parts industry it has been confirmed that the Development Bank of Japan will be assisting auto parts makes to the tune of $617m (US dollars). Whether this will be enough to repair the parts manufacturing industry is yet to be seen.
It can be safely assumed that the disruption in Japan represents one of the largest shocks in our industry in modern times. With this in mind we should all monitor the progress and actions of the Japanese people, their government and their economy over the next few years. In the end patience is paramount from those waiting on deliveries of new vehicles to Japanese car owners waiting on parts or modifications.
Sources available on request.