Japan’s major automakers appear to recover faster from the impact of the March 11 tsunami than previously feared (or hoped.) Nissan’s Executive Vice President Takao Katagiri said today that Nissan’s Japanese vehicle production in May was the same or greater than its output in the same month in the previous year.
“We will also probably be able to maintain a normal level in June,” Katagiri told The Nikkei [sub]. At the annual results conference in May, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn had predicted that the company would be back to normal by October. This remains the official party line at Nissan.
Two weeks ago, Toyota confirmed to TTAC that the company will be at 90 percent capacity in June in Japan. Overseas, the situation remains unchanged. A day later, The Nikkei [sub] wrote that Honda “will likely have its domestic production nearly back to normal in July, sooner than expected, as autoparts manufacturers quickly get output back on track.”
Yesterday, The Nikkei [sub] reported that “with earthquake-related disruptions to production close to being resolved, major automakers are changing their focus from restoring output to increasing sales, taking steps to assist struggling dealerships in the disaster zone.”
We will get a better picture next week when Japanese automakers report their May production numbers, at home and overseas. Keep in mind that overseas effects are delayed, due to the length of the supply lines.#
PS: I was in Iwaki when that video was shot, and I can confirm that at least that plant ran at full tilt.