Seismic Activity Hampering Japanese Auto Production

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

A strong earthquake shook western Japan on Monday morning. The 6.1-magnitude quake destroyed property, left tens of thousands without power, stranded commuters, and disrupted Osaka’s industrial sector. Honda, Mitsubishi Motors, and Toyota’s Daihatsu unit all have production facilities in the area and were forced to shut down temporarily.

While Daihatsu remained confident its facilities could be reopened later in the day, Honda’s Suzuka factory in the Mie prefecture is one of the oldest plants on its roster. Despite being modernized over the years, it might not have been able to withstand the vibrations as well as newer facilities. The company said it would remain shuttered as employees perform safety and spot checks.

Mitsubishi also temporarily shut down its powertrain assembly sites in Kyoto and Shiga. The company also has a research and development center in the area, however, it wasn’t mentioned. After comprehensive inspections, Mitsubishi says both plants will resume operations.

Presently, Japan’s national broadcaster, NHK, reports that at least 350 people were injured by the quake. Local authorities place the official tally nearer to 300. There are at least three known fatalities that can be directly attributed to the event. Secondary tremors are expected over the next few days.

[Source: Automotive News] [Image: Honda]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Jun 18, 2018

    "Either way – it has to be Trump’s fault." Did Japan name a Fault Line after him?

  • Carroll Prescott Carroll Prescott on Jun 18, 2018

    I'd like to put all Honduh owners in a tumbler to shake some sense into them - either you are an idiot BEFORE you buy one or Honduh's make you arrogant, stupid, and repugnant after the fact. Lately the worst drivers I've seen are all Honduh ones - three lane changes to exit - go from right to left to get into the most left turn lane and then dart back over to the right to exit (taking three lanes to do it) after the stop light. It has gotten so bad that when I see stupid driving, it is almost always a Honduh driver (followed by Toyoduh and Mazda/Hyundai ones). Seriously. Something has to be done since these idiots will kill someone (and unfortunately not themselves)!

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    • "scarey" "scarey" on Jun 18, 2018

      I think that you cannot lump ALL drivers of a particular brand together in style or proficiency at driving. If you hate a particular brand of car, state your reasons when we are discussing that or similar cars and types of cars. Otherwise, you will not work and play well with others at TTAC. We don't all agree here. Some people here hate my opinions and vice/versa. But we try to impress each other with our logic, or we try to baffle them with our bullshit.

  • Peter Gazis Peter Gazis on Jun 18, 2018

    This is sad. My thoughts and prayers are with the Japanese people. Hopefully GM, Ford & FCA all send over some full sized pickups to help with the Clean up.

  • Peter Gazis Peter Gazis on Jun 18, 2018

    There is a bit of food news. No American cars were damaged.