Japan Quake to Hit Auto Industry

After one of the most powerful earthquakes in recorded history hit Japan yesterday, the country is still trying to make full sense of the damage caused by the cataclysm which, according to scientists, sped up the Earth's rotation by 1.6 microseconds.

With the Japanese authorities, the auto industry is now trying to see how this new development will affect the business of both the auto makers, suppliers and the millions that work for them.

With several big global players affected directly by the quake (Nissan and Toyota among them), the industry is now trying to limit the damage on the one hand and predict what will happen to the manufacturing and supply processes as a result of the 8.9 quake (USGS estimate).

First of all, the biggest fear is that the delivery process of parts and cars from Japan (who accounted for 17 percent of Japan's industrial output in 2008, according to Reuters) will be affected, threatening to bring to a halt plants in other areas of the world, especially the US.

"It's a very bad situation,"
Dennis Virag, president of the Automotive Consulting Group, was quoted as saying by Reuters. "Japan has excellent ports, but they're going to be the focus of rescue efforts. I don't know how much non-relief shipping)is going to be going out for while.".

Toyota has closed, as a result of the quake, two assembly plants and two parts factories in Japan, while Nissan announced on Friday the stop of production at no less than five of its facilities. In both cases, there is no telling how long the stop in production will last.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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