Tuesday, March 22, 2011


From the Los Angeles Times.

The natural disasters that struck Japan's northeast continued to wreak havoc on the nation's economy on Tuesday, with two of the country's largest carmakers announcing further delays in resumption of production at their plants because of continued disruption in parts supplies.

Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., which were scheduled to resume production at their earthquake-affected plants early this week, said Tuesday that operations would not begin again until the weekend. Toyota had suspended operations at four plants, Honda at three.

Toyota said the new suspension would last until Saturday and Honda said its plants would resume operations Sunday.

For Toyota, the halt in output, which will affect about 140,000 units, marks a record suspension, Kyodo News Agency reported. The effects are likely to be felt domestically for the most part -- the companies' cars sold in the U.S. are largely manufactured in North America.

Electronics maker Sony Corp. also said Tuesday that while manufacturing had restarted at some of its sites, scheduled power outages and shortages of materials and components continued to hamper production at others.

Technophiles may also have reason for concern: Japan's earthquake and tsunami has halted production of a quarter of the world's supply of silicon wafers, used to make semiconductors, which are the crucial components in personal computers, mobile phones and digital music players, according to a report released by a California-based market research firm.
Even when production resumes it will be interesting to see what kind of demand for products in Japan will be. 

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