Toyota will keep a plant in China closed until at least Aug. 26 as it waits for conditions to improve after an explosion there killed more than 120 people, the Detroit News is reporting.
The Aug. 12 explosion in Tianjin, China injured 67 Toyota employees nearby and damaged 4,700 Toyota and Lexus vehicles. The plant in Tianjin, which produces Crown, Reiz, Corolla and Vios cars, is responsible for roughly half of Toyota’s annual production in China.
“We will only restart operations when we have been able to confirm the safety of our facilities and their surroundings, and when our employees feel that they can once again go to work in a safe environment,” the company said in an email, according to Reuters.
Riding on strong pickup truck and sedan sales, Chrysler Group and Ford Motor Co. both posted 12% overall sales increases from last August. It was Chrysler’s 41st straight year to year monthly increase. A number of manufacturers’ sales were constrained by tight inventory of models in high demand.
While the GM inventory woes have been a fixture of TTAC for months, excess inventory isn’t the sole domain of GM’s pickups. Chrysler is having its own issues, with the Dodge Dart suffering from a glut of inventory.
With Honda and Toyota struggling to catch up after months of tsunami-related supply interruptions, Nissan’s been passing its major Japanese competitors in sales volume, and they apparently want to keep it that way. As Bertel has reported, Nissan was able to walk away from the tsunami’s devastation practically unharmed, and it’s leveraging its strong supply of vehicles to make hay while the sun shines (or while its competitors are struggling to catch up). This ad, which is a simple reminder to consumers, is only slightly tinged with competitive feist in a scene depicting a frustrated Honda customer. Overall though, there’s not much messaging needed: Nissan has cars, other Japanese competitors don’t. And right now, that could be one of the most effective marketing messages out there. After all, as Autoobserver points out, folks trading in Japanese cars still overwhelmingly buy another Japanese car… so simply having Japanese cars on dealer lots is a huge advantage at the moment.
We finally know who’s responsible for shutting down Nissan assembly lines in Japanand the U.S.A. The shortage of a critical computer chip stopped Hitachi from making ECUs, which in turn stopped Nissan from making cars. For days, the identity of the lackadaisical chipmaker had been kept under wraps. Now, the culprit has been unmasked. (Read More…)
So far, it had been striking workers at Chinese parts suppliers that brought Japanese car makers to their knees, praying for parts needed to re-start the lines. Here is a new twist: Japan’s Hitachi ran out of chips for ECUs (commonly called “car computers”). And Japanese carmakers are shutting down the lines. (Read More…)