Will Japan's auto industry be affected?

Friday, March 18, 2011 - 10:47am

The disaster in Japan is unparalleled in the country’s recent history, and comes at a time when the Japanese are near the top of the heap in many industries such as cars and electronics.

But that brings up another problem a little closer to home. What if you own one of these fine Japanese cars, you need a water pump or new set of brakes? Will the parts be there and if not, how long will it take?

And though most large factories are virtually untouched by the quake, there will be delays.

Toyota’s official statement is plain.

Although many models are now assembled in the United States, parts supplies are in jeopardy short term. That means production will slow for a time, and in the case of Prius, since it’s made in Japan, there might be a wait. Nissan says any delays will be short term. And fortunately, inventories are good.

So although there will a pause in some production, as far as manufacturing goes, this could have been a lot worse.

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