By on March 22, 2011

Japan is, after China, the world’s second largest car producer. In the first ten days after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami, the Japanese auto industry lost approximately 65 percent of its capacity. That is 338,000 units. Toyota alone has lost production of about 140,000 vehicles since March 14, says AP [via MSNBC]. What will happen next? Will it affect us, and how?

Amongst banks and brokers, staid Morgan Stanley is one of the respected ones. Morgan Stanley always had a presence in Asia and manages many Asian funds. Japan’s Mitsubishi bank owns 21 percent.  Morgan Stanley has no interest in talking Japan down. However, in a 34 page research note, sent out today, titled “Japanese Earthquake: Global Supply Chain Implications”, Morgan Stanley paints a dark picture: “A prolonged disruption of Japanese component supply could have a significant impact on 2011 auto production and profitability.” Not just in Japan, the world over. It is likely to depress sales: “ The impact on US SAAR could be severe in May.”

Instead of editorializing, let’s just give you the salient parts. You may want to have a stiff drink first. And your broker’s phone number nearby. (Read More…)

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