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Japanese earthquake impacts car-makers

Shut down: Honda's Kumamoto factory has closed until April 22 following the Kyushu earthquake last week.

Honda, Nissan, Toyota announce temporary closures to some plants to assess damage

General News logo19 Apr 2016

THREE of Japan's automotive giants have temporarily halted production in some of their home-market plants following the earthquake that has devastated parts of the southern island of Kyushu.

Honda, Nissan and Toyota have all had temporary stoppages to assess the damage to a number of sites after a magnitude-6.2 quake hit the area on April 14, ahead of a more powerful magnitude-7.0 earthquake that struck on April 16.

Toyota Motor Corporation said in a statement that due to parts shortages resulting from the earthquake, it would suspend production on vehicle assembly lines between April 18 and April 23, with a decision on recommencement to be made “on the basis of availability of parts”.

A number of Toyota factories are impacted, including plants in Takaoka, Tsutsumi, Tahara and Motomachi as well as Toyota group plants such as the Daihatsu factory in Kyoto and the Hino facility in Hamura.

In expressing its sympathy to those impacted by the quake, Toyota and its local subsidiary, Toyota Motor Kyushu, announced a donation of ¥10 million ($A118,000) to help relief efforts.

Nissan said in a statement that its Kyushu facility suspended its weekend work days on April 16 and 17, reopening on Monday April 17.

The car-maker has also donated ¥10 million and will provide up to a total of 100 examples of the Leaf and eNV200 electric vehicles for free use in the area, as well as water, food and portable storage batteries.

Both Nissan and Toyota will match donations raised by their employees.

Honda announced that it has halted work at its Kumamoto factory from April 14 until April 22 to assess for any damage, with ongoing production plans to be determined “according to facility restorations and component supply”.

The Japanese car-maker also expressed its sympathies and confirmed that it would donate ¥50 million ($A590,000) to the Kumamoto Prefecture and would also provide generators, emergency food and water and map data.

The death toll from the earthquake stands at 42, with 10 people still missing and approximately 196,000 people evacuated.

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