Production Restarted at Japanese Paint Pigment Plant
Repairs were supposed to take much longer, but The Detroit News reports that the facility was fixed ahead of schedule and production has now resumed. The Merck Onahama factory, which makes the Xirallic pigment used to add luster to colors, will soon be at full capacity, so we can all sleep a little easier knowing we can order colors that make average cars look better.
"Our top priority is to ensure as soon as possible an uninterrupted supply of Xirallic pigments to our customers around the world," Peter Halas, head of the Pigments & Cosmetics business unit at Merck, said in a statement. "The resumption of production in Onahama is a major milestone toward this objective. I would like to thank our employees in Japan for their tremendous efforts."
Merck says that its Onahama, which is 36 miles (57 kilometers) south of the badly damaged Fukushima nuclear plant, is outside of the evacuation area, and the company will stick to public directives to ensure the safety of employees. While we appreciate the pace at which the plant was put on its feet, having paint that... glows in the dark sounds a bit scary. (We’re just kidding!).
A few months back, Ford had to stop taking new orders for cars in Tuxedo Black, and is limiting orders of three shades of red. The paint shortage affects the F-150 and Super Duty lines of pickups, as well as the Explorer, the Expedition, Focus, Taurus and the Lincoln MKS and Navigator.