By Yoshio Takahashi And Hiroyuki Kachi
Japan's major auto makers extended halts in domestic production at least through Wednesday as they continue to grapple with supply shortages, damaged facilities and rolling power outages wrought by Friday's earthquake and tsunami.
Meanwhile, a growing list of companies in a range of other industries, from consumer electronics to steelmakers and retail-store operators, were suspending parts of their operations affected by the earthquake while preparing to cope with the planned power outages in a sign that the road to reconstruction and recovery from the quake could be long and shaky.
The government-mandated power cuts are aimed at preventing a widespread power outage. The action comes after Friday's earthquake and tsunami knocked out two nuclear facilities operated by Tokyo Electric Power /zigman2/quotes/202771076/delayed JP:9501 -1.61% Co., or Tepco, leaving the utility that serves all of the Tokyo area with a 25% power capacity shortfall.
Toyota Motor /zigman2/quotes/200537742/composite TM -3.27% Corp. said Monday that it is suspending production at all domestic factories through Wednesday as the auto maker tries to adjust to the logistics dislocation caused by the disaster.
A spokesperson for the world's biggest auto maker by sales said the suspension, which covers all Toyota group companies, will result in a production loss of 40,000 vehicles.
Toyota had already suspended production at all of its 12 domestic plants Monday.
A report from IHS Automotive said about 45% of Toyota's global production has been affected by the quake and tsunami. IHS said there are reports of possible work stoppages at a Toyota transmission facility and a specialized forging plant that makes battery-pack parts as well as other plants that make electronic components. Damage to suppliers is "extremely worrying," the report said.
Earl Stewart , who owns a Toyota dealership in North Palm Beach, Fla., said he is concerned about the supply of Prius hybrids, which are made in Japan. The recent surge in gasoline prices has driven demand for the car in the U.S., and he has no Priuses left on his lot to sell.
"The Prius is a huge issue for us," he said. "What I am worried about is how they are going to get them from the plant to the ports, and what shape are the ports in?"
Honda Motor /zigman2/quotes/207173990/composite HMC -3.73% Co., which had also suspended production Monday, said it would extend the manufacturing halt at all its domestic plants through Sunday, resulting in an output loss of 16,600 vehicles.
Nissan Motor Co. said that it will suspend two damaged plants located in Tochigi and Fukushima, closer to the central quake-hit area, until Friday and another four plants near the Tokyo area and Fukuoka, in southern Japan, until Wednesday.
Suzuki Motor /zigman2/quotes/201794956/delayed JP:7269 -2.42% Corp. said Monday that it will suspend production at its domestic plants on Tuesday and Wednesday as it will stop accepting parts deliveries to allow suppliers to ensure the safety of employees.
The vehicle maker, based in Shizuoka, central Japan, had halted operations Monday at its six factories. Suzuki's India unit Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. said Monday it is still evaluating the impact of the production suspension in Japan on its auto imports from the country.
Auto parts purchased from Japan account for 25% of Maruti's overall imports.
Mazda Motor /zigman2/quotes/204777714/delayed JP:7261 -6.80% Corp. said that it will idle all four of its domestic plants in western Japan until Wednesday to ensure the safety of employees at suppliers and also because it won't be able to procure sufficient parts.
Isuzu Motor Ltd. said it will suspend its two domestic plants throughout this week, and truck maker Hino Motors /zigman2/quotes/209422954/delayed JP:7205 -3.37% Ltd. will shut down their plants through Wednesday.