How Tsunami will affect Japanese Car Industry

In the wake of the earthquake, Tsunami, power blackout, and subsequent nuclear fallout, there has been much coverage on the issue of how the Japanese car market will be affected by the turbulence. The short answer is that the industry will be affected significantly. Among other direct consequences Japanese car plants have had their power cut – following instructions by the Japanese government to limit supply – and in many cases they have been reduced to one shift per week. Obviously this will cause a delay in production.


For the Irish consumer three consequences will follow: First there will be a significant slow-down in the availability of brand new Japanese vehicles. While Irish garages still have stock – up to 60 days in some cases – there will inevitably be a delay for consumers further down the tracks as global orders bottleneck. Second it is likely that Japanese car prices will spike. Third, the fall-out in Japan will also impact on sub-manufacturing plants around the world and the availability of parts for vehicles will become an issue too. This is an issue not just for Japanese vehicles such as Subaru, Toyota and Nissan but also companies like Ford who use Japanese parts for the hybrid systems in their vehicles and General Motors (GM) who temporarily shut a car plant in Louisiana last week owing to lack of availability of Japanese parts.

Still, things could have been worse, a major nuclear event at Fukushima could have forced the closure of primary manufacturing facilities for Toyota, Subaru and Nissan and this could have been disastrous for those companies. Toyota, in particular, has had a torrid time of late – after several high-volume recalls of its vehicles – and the earthquake and its aftermath has already taken its toll on that company.

0 thoughts on “How Tsunami will affect Japanese Car Industry

  • Toyota will restart production at all of its Japanese factories between 18 and 27 April, however, the world’s biggest car manufacturer said that production at its domestic factories will resume at a reduced capacity.

  • All 13 of Toyota’s North American plants are being affected by a component shortage caused by the recent Japanese Tsunami. Each plant is expected to shut down for a minimum of five days in April to allow supply chains to catch up with production.

  • Ademilola Adenuga says:

    How Tsunami will affect Japanese Car Industry:
    Hi Jeff, I am currently writing my Masters dissertation and attempting to study the impact the Japanese tsunami on retail availability of cars in Ireland and am in serious need of data to prove this or otherwise. As an expert in the auto industry, you wrote an interesting article on the above topic, the related it to Ireland.

    I have used the new passenger car (only cars of Japanese origin) registrations in Ireland for 2010, 2011 and 2012 from The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) to try and see if cars registered for the tsunami period dropped but there was no such indication.

    My supervisor wants more and better data, please sir could you help as I have searched the internet to no avail.

    Best regards,


  • hi there, thanks for your email and your phone call. we hope the information we provided was useful

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