Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Japan financial aftershocks: Toyota output reduction may top 40,000 vehicles amid power crisis -- Nissan, Honda, Sony also suffering huge losses

Toyota Motor Corp. may lose output of at least 40,000 vehicles after Friday's 9.0-magnitude earthquake damaged factories and crippled nuclear power plants, which led to electricity shortages.

Toyota had closed 12 plants across the nation through Wednesday, said spokeswoman Shiori Hashimoto.

Profit for the world's largest carmaker will be cut by ¥6 billion for each day of lost operations, while Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. may each lose ¥2 billion a day, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. estimated.

Sony Corp. and Toshiba Corp. also shut plants following the earthquake and tsunami. The disaster may trim 0.3 percent from the economy as power outages cut industrial production, Nomura Holdings Inc. estimated in a report.

"Not only is the struck region one of our production bases, those directly hit and vastly affected include our dealers, suppliers and numerous other partners," Toyota President Akio Toyoda said in a statement on the company's website.

Nissan suspended operations at four plants until Wednesday and at two other plants until Friday, the company said Monday.

The automaker earlier said 2,300 new vehicles were damaged by tsunami surges in the wake of the huge earthquake. Nissan doesn't have an estimate of how much production may be lost, said spokesman Yuichi Nakagawa.

Honda will halt output through Sunday, reducing production by an estimated 16,600 cars and trucks and 2,000 two-wheelers, spokeswoman Tomoko Takamori said Monday. (read more)