The Japanese automobile production dropped of 50% in March consequently to the earthquake

The main Japanese car manufacturers’ production fell of more than 50% in March because of the earthquake, which touched their suppliers in the northeast of the archipelago. In March, the first world manufacturer, Toyota, produced 129 491 vehicles in Japan, 62,7 % less than last year at the same time. The production of its competitor Nissan accused at the same time a decrease of 52,4 %, in 47 590 units, and Honda assembled only 34 754 vehicles in Japan, that is to say 62,9 % of vehicles less over one year.

The Japanese car manufacturers suffer from a shortage of spare parts, which obliges them to slow down the cadence or even to stop their production line in the whole archipelago, because of the earthquake of magnitude 9 and the huge tsunami of March 11th, which damaged or destroyed the factories of their suppliers in the region of the Tohoku (northeast). The manufacturers have also to face the limitations of electricity in the northeast and in the region of Tokyo, because of the damages undergone by nuclear power plants and thermal.

Other Japanese automobiles firms were also touched. In March, Mitsubishi Motors, Suzuki, Mazda and Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru) saw their production decreasing from 25 to 70%. Their production abroad evolved in a variable way, but the consequences of the disaster on the assembly of vehicles outside Japan risk to appear in April: several manufacturers decided to reduce the cadence or even to close factories in America, in Europe or in China during several days, due to the lack of spare parts from Japan.

In the archipelago, the production didn’t still regain a normal rhythm. Toyota, Honda and Nissan produced only 50 % of the volumes planned before the earthquake at the end of April.

The return to a normal rhythm of production will require weeks, because the workshops of Tohoku were completely destroyed by the disaster. Moreover changing suppliers is difficult, for a manufacturer, considering the complexity that represent the conception, the test and the production of every component.



3 thoughts on “The Japanese automobile production dropped of 50% in March consequently to the earthquake

  1. Unfortunately as we all know, we cannot stop nor control natural disasters like the one that occurred in Japan recently. The impact that resulted from the earthquake and tsunami overnight on the Japanese economy must have been huge! The fact that it was completely unexpected doesn’t help either. To hear that the production rates of many car manufactures were affected by over 60% is frightening. This shows just how large and how sudden our economies can be affected. This course having knock-on effects for us all. Hopefully, the Japanese production rates can be resorted to normal in the near future in order to help the country recover completely.

  2. We can see that the situation in Japan is very difficult and worrying. This natural disaster is the cause of many victims in the country and also the cause of a decrease in the production and in the economy. With this article, we have the example of the automobile industry. Japan needs to slow done the cadence because of the consequences of the earthquake, ant it has a huge negative impact for the economy of the country in general. Let’s hope that the country will recover shortly all it capacity.

  3. Japan is the third largest national economy in the world (with 5.72 % of the world GDP) thanks to the car industry.
    The impact undergone by this sector will have more consequences on its economy than you think of it.
    Among the big industrial nations, the country is the first in the automotive sector, in particular thanks to groups such as Toyota, Nissan, Honda or Mitsubishi.
    The economy of the country mainly rests on this sector..
    We can thus wonder how the country is going to recover of such a disaster if its sector with stronger potential is strongly handicaped…


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