Earthquake Forces Toyota And Nissan To Stop Production In Key Assembly Plants: Report

Photo: AP/Koji Sasahara

Toyota and Nissan had to idle major assembly plants for supply-chain reasons after an earthquake damaged a key auto-supplier’s factories, Auto News Europe reports. So if you’re waiting for your comfy but snooze-inducing Lexus RX, give it an extra day or two.

At 9:26 p..m., a magnitude-6.2 earthquake shook the Kumamoto prefecture in Japan, killing at least nine people and injuring hundreds. It’s a tragic natural disaster, and one that seems to be affecting car production. Well, at least a little bit.

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The quake damaged two Aisin Seiki factories, which make body components and die-cast engine parts for Toyota, Nissan and Daihatsu. The seismic activity apparently broke some windows and even collapsed walls at the plants.

To Toyota and Nissan, this means there’s a disruption in their supply chain, and that means delays.

The Miyata plant, for example, where Toyota builds the Lexus IS, ES, HS, CT and RX, is going to sit dormant for two full days. Auto News says Toyota cut Friday and Saturday shifts at Miyata, and also at nearby engine and transmission factories because it “needed more time to dig into lower tiers of the supply chain to ensure deliveries of sub-components wouldn’t be interrupted.”

Nissan also uses Aisin Seiki as a supplier, so it, too, will take a bit of a hit. Nissan’s Fukuoka factory, which sits near Toyota’s Miyata plant and builds cars like the Murano and Rogue, is going to have to take a breather on Saturday. Nissan reps told Auto News: “Decisions on operations from the 18th onward will be made based on further evaluation of the supplier situation.”

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So, a couple of days off for a couple Toyota and Nissan plants. It could certainly be worse. Luckily, there are no reports of damage to Nissan’s or Toyota’s factories, and this earthquake probably won’t cause wild delays like the ones we saw after the devastating earthquake in March of 2011.

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David Tracy

Writer, Jalopnik. 1979 Jeep Cherokee Golden Eagle, 1985 Jeep J10, 1948 Willys CJ-2A, 1995 Jeep Cherokee, 1992 Jeep Cherokee auto, 1991 Jeep Cherokee 5spd, 1976 Jeep DJ-5D, totaled 2003 Kia Rio