Japan's Carmakers Plan For The Worst

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Japan’s carmakers are preparing for the next big one, and move to higher ground, says The Nikkei [sub]. Many Japanese car plants are near or next to the water, some on reclaimed land. Large level tracts are rare in Japan, and by building cars at the waterfront, the ship can come to your loading dock. After the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, perspectives changed.

In June, Suzuki acquired about 270,000 sq. meters of land on a hill 80 meters above sea level in Hamamatsu. Suzuki will spend 40 billion yen ($500m) and move some of its production to higher ground and 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) inland. The Suzuki motorcycle technology research center and part of its motorcycle engine factory will move to the new site.

Preparations by other companies range from rewriting evacuation manuals and drills to complete relocations such as the ones at Suzuki.

A government survey found that more than 70% of firms have drawn up business continuity plans or are currently doing so in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake and flooding in Thailand

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  • Polar Bear Polar Bear on Aug 30, 2012

    The Thais sold the Japanese land on the flat flood plains north of Bangkok without telling them their factories would be under water now and then. The moonsoon flood season comes every year in October and when they get a big one things get wet. There is a reason some of the cheapest land in Bangkok (with slums on it) comes with a river view.

  • Wstarvingteacher Wstarvingteacher on Aug 30, 2012

    That happens here as well and even with luxury communities. Local residents in my area knew for years that a certain spot flooded if a frog peed in the road. It became Kingwood Texas just north of Houston. I think that drainage was the first order of the day when developing the site. Some things can't be drained and I hope whoever bought that land in Thailand was fired.

  • -Cole- -Cole- on Aug 30, 2012

    Meanwhile, in Florida...

  • GS650G GS650G on Aug 30, 2012

    they have bigger problems than water, like earthquakes and electricity. Overseas assembly is looking better than ever.