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Article on companies which incurred losses due to

Natural Environment

The vulnerabilities of the tight production supply chains at Japanese


companies including Toyota Motor Corp., are back in the spotlight after
earthquakes in southern Japan forced several to curtail output this week.
Toyotas decision to shut 26 car assembly lines this week nationwide due
to production halts by a supplier shows how the auto makers lean
manufacturing system, often viewed as a model of efficiency, can be
impacted by disasters. The latest shutdowns drew parallels to the aftermath
of Japans 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
In addition to Toyota,Honda Motor Co. said it would keep its motorbike
plant in Kumamoto shut through Friday. But in contrast to Toyota, which is
shutting down production nationwide, Hondas plants outside of southern
Japan are running, while Nissan Motor Co. resumed operations at its plant
in Kyushu on Monday after a temporary shutdown.
The magnitude 6.5 quake on Thursday and a magnitude 7.3 quake on
Saturday that struck Kumamoto prefecture in Japans southern island of
Kyushu, left more than 40 dead and caused disruption to crucial supply
chains.
This is the second time in three months that Toyota has had to stop
production in its plants throughout Japan after supplier troubles. The
earthquake-affected supplier, Aisin Seiki Co., made door and engine
components at the plants in Kumamoto and Toyota has yet to decide when
it would resume operations, a Toyota spokesman said.
In February, Toyota lost production of between 80,000 and 90,000
vehicles, analysts say, over a week-long halt after an explosion at a steel
supplier. That shutdown weighed on Japans industrial output, which fell
6.2% that month.