In early signs of recovery for the Japanese auto industry, Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi have decided to reopen some plants. However, full-fledged production is still some time off.
The fate of a large number of component vendors as well as power supply shortages are the biggest concerns for Japanese auto companies like Toyota, Honda, Suzuki and Nissan. This is also an irritant for their Indian subsidiaries, which depend in varying degrees on the parent for crucial component and technology support.
Toyota, which closed down all plants in Japan after the March 11 quake, decided to reopen seven plants in Aichi prefecture from Thursday, a spokesman said in Tokyo. However, it will keep 21 plants shut until March 22. On the other hand, Nissan and an affiliate would reopen one plant on Thursday and another on March 18. Two factories, however, will remain closed until March 20, while another will operate partially. No decision has been made on reopening a sixth plant.
Mitsubishi also resumed production at its three plants in central and western Japan. These will continue running through Thursday, though no decision has been made about continuing output thereafter. But the plants of auto giants like Honda and Suzuki are still closed. Honda and Mazda said plants will be closed until March 20. Suzuki, the parent of Maruti, also said that all Japanese factories will be shut until March 21.