Six months after having been devastated at home by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, “Japan has experienced its largest overseas investment loss ever as a result of the flood disaster in Thailand,” Japans’s ambassador to Thailand Seiji Kojima told the Bangkok Post.
Thailand has become Japan’s favorite Asian production hub. More than 400 Japanese corporations have plants at huge industrial parks that have been flooded. On Monday, water began to inundate the large Navanakorn industrial park in the northern suburbs of Bangkok, reports The Nikkei [sub]. Yesterday, Thailand’s oldest industrial park was under water.
Mazda, Mitsubishi, Honda, Toyota and Nissan have shut down their plants in Thailand. Just like the Japanese tsunami, the floods have wider-ranging impacts. About half of the 1.64 million vehicles produced in Thailand last year were exported. Honda has already decreased output in Malaysia, because parts made in Thailand are missing.
Honda said yesterday that once the waters recede, it will take a month to re-start production at Thailand’s Rojana industrial estate, Reuters says. That can be a while.
Even if you are not in the market for a car, you have reason to worry. Want to buy a computer? Do it now. Says The Nikkei [sub]:
“Roughly 60 percent of the world’s hard drives are made in Thailand, so the floods will likely impact production of personal computers, recording devices and other equipment toward year-end.”