Parts Paralysis Daily Digest, March 23
March 23rd, 2011 10:50 AM Share
Our daily run-down of delays, shut-downs, shortages, and postponements.
- Toyota will delay the introduction of the wagon version of the Prius hybrid in Japan. A launch event was planned for late April. This event is cancelled; a new date has not been set. The Nikkei [sub].
- Toyota will also delay the minivan version of the Prius, Reuters adds.
- Ford is keeping a wary eye on Japan from its Thai facility. “So far, we haven’t been affected, production-wise…we identified some suppliers who have been impacted, but so far we have been able to keep producing,” said President of Ford Asia Pacific and Africa Joe Hinrichs. The company suspended overtime, and is closely monitoring developments in Japan. Ford will debut its new Ford Ranger pick-up truck for the Southeast Asian market at the Bangkok International Motor Show, March 25-April 4. The Nikkei [sub].
- Toyota and Honda car ventures in southern China have enough parts inventory to sustain normal production until the middle of next month, Zeng Qinghong, president of Guangzhou Automobile Group Co (GAC) said today. Just to be on the safe side, GAC and its Japanese partners is thinking about getting help from Japanese suppliers in other markets. Reuters.
- Nissan’s Ghosn said about 40 component suppliers in Japan have difficulties, complicating Nissan’s attempts to restart production. Electronic components, plastics and rubber are in short supply. This will affect automakers in Japan and around the world. “This is serious and it’s still difficult to evaluate,” Ghosn said. Bloomberg.
- Nissan tries to repair the severely damaged Iwaki plant in Fukushima Prefecture. A team from Nissan’s Tochigi factory is en-route. “But with aftershocks still rocking the area surrounding the Iwaki plant, the full restoration of water supply and other infrastructure is expected to take time.” The Nikkei [sub].
- Nissan has dispatched support personnel groups to leading parts manufacturers that have suffered serious damage. The Nikkei [sub].
- Toyota has sent some 60 people from Aichi to Miyagi. They arrived with goods and supplies and will help with inspections at the Miyagi plant. The Nikkei [sub].
- Honda affiliate Keihin has many of its key production sites in Miyagi. With support from Honda, trial runs start at affected sites. The Nikkei [sub].
- Subaru (and all of Fuji Heavy) is out of email for three hours a day, every day. Fuji Heavy is the only Japanese automaker to have its e-mail interrupted. Its global headquarters is in a section of Tokyo unaffected by the blackouts. The e-mail server however is located in the city of Omiya, Saitama prefecture. They get the power turned off each day. And the mail goes nowhere. Automotive News [sub]
Published March 23rd, 2011 8:25 AM
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- Malcolm It's not that commenters attack Tesla, musk has brought it on the company. The delivery of the first semi was half loaded in 70 degree weather hauling potato chips for frito lay. No company underutilizes their loads like this. Musk shouted at the world "look at us". Freightliners e-cascads has been delivering loads for 6-8 months before Tesla delivered one semi. What commenters are asking "What's the actual usable range when in say Leadville when its blowing snow and -20F outside with a full trailer?
- Funky D I despise Google for a whole host of reasons. So why on earth would I willing spend a large amount of $ on a car that will force Google spyware on me.The only connectivity to the world I will put up with is through my phone, which at least gives me the option of turning it off or disconnecting it from the car should I choose to.No CarPlay, no sale.
- William I think it's important to understand the factors that made GM as big as it once was and would like to be today. Let's roll back to 1965, or even before that. GM was the biggest of the Big Three. It's main competition was Ford and Chrysler, as well as it's own 5 brands competing with themselves. The import competition was all but non existent. Volkswagen was the most popular imported cars at the time. So GM had its successful 5 brands, and very little competition compared to today's market. GM was big, huge in fact. It was diversified into many other lines of business, from trains to information data processing (EDS). Again GM was huge. But being huge didn't make it better. There are many examples of GM not building the best cars they could, it's no surprise that they were building cars to maximize their profits, not to be the best built cars on the road, the closest brand to achieve that status was Cadillac. Anyone who owned a Cadillac knew it could have been a much higher level of quality than it was. It had a higher level of engineering and design features compared to it's competition. But as my Godfather used to say "how good is good?" Being as good as your competitors, isn't being as good as you could be. So, today GM does not hold 50% of the automotive market as it once did, and because of a multitude of reasons it never will again. No matter how much it improves it's quality, market value and dealer network, based on competition alone it can't have a 50% market share again. It has only 3 of its original 5 brands, and there are too many strong competitors taking pieces of the market share. So that says it's playing in a different game, therfore there's a whole new normal to use as a baseline than before. GM has to continue downsizing to fit into today's market. It can still be big, but in a different game and scale. The new normal will never be the same scale it once was as compared to the now "worlds" automotive industry. Just like how the US railroad industry had to reinvent its self to meet the changing transportation industry, and IBM has had to reinvent its self to play in the ever changing Information Technology industry it finds it's self in. IBM was once the industry leader, now it has to scale it's self down to remain in the industry it created. GM is in the same place that the railroads, IBM and other big companies like AT&T and Standard Oil have found themselves in. It seems like being the industry leader is always followed by having to reinvent it's self to just remain viable. It's part of the business cycle. GM, it's time you accept your fate, not dead, but not huge either.
- Tassos The Euro spec Taurus is the US spec Ford FUSION.Very few buyers care to see it here. FOrd has stopped making the Fusion long agoWake us when you have some interesting news to report.
- Marvin Im a current owner of a 2012 Golf R 2 Door with 5 grand on the odometer . Fun car to drive ! It's my summer cruiser. 2006 GLI with 33,000 . The R can be money pit if service by the dealership. For both cars I deal with Foreign car specialist , non union shop but they know their stuff !!! From what I gather the newer R's 22,23' too many electronic controls on the screen, plus the 12 is the last of the of the trouble free ones and fun to drive no on screen electronics Maze !
Some get to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Others can't yet. Such destruction.
About the loss of e-mail at Fuji Heavy: the server that runs e-mail for the entire country's staff isn't on a UPS and generator with more than 3 hours of runtime? Also, one would hope that the equipment and communications lines that connect the server to the rest of the company are also on power backup equipment. I suppose you could also look at it from the other perspective: how much e-mail does the average office worker send that absolutely can't wait three hours for a response? If I need to hear from someone within three hours, I'm following up an e-mail message with a phone call, IM, SMS, whatever. (Of course, the blackouts may affect those services too, but that's another discussion). Of course, AN isn't an IT publication, so I'm sure there are many more details to this story.