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Nissan and Infiniti are operating at very different sales levels because of the March natural disasters that struck Japan. Nissan’s sales increased 6 percent in July over July 2010 to 77,191 cars and trucks but Infiniti’s sales slumped, declining 24 percent to 7,410.
Nissan North America’s combined sales increased 3 percent to 84,601 units, which was 1 percent stronger than the industry wide rise. Infiniti’s July sales drop was the brand’s second steep decline in two months, caused entirely by production and inventory interruptions in Japan. All Infiniti production takes place in Japan, and sales of every vehicle in its lineup fell due to inventory issues. The Nissan Altima, which is made in the US, rose by more than 3,000 units in July, increasing sales by 17 percent and Frontier sales also improved by 22 percent as consumers look to smaller trucks because of high fuel prices.
[Source: Automotive News]
Japanese auto makers have been scrambling to assess the impact of the recent natural disasters on their supply chains, as North American production facilities face potential harm, as Japanese factories have begun suspending production in the face of a series of catastrophic events.
Toyota has suspended overtime production at their North American facilities, while Subaru announced that some 30 percent of their parts suppliers were affected. Automakers have closed their factories as part of a campaign to ease stress on the nation’s power grid. While many of the Japanese car companies built a significant portion of their vehicles in North America, the Toyota Prius and Honda’s entire hybrid lineup are built in Japan, and these vehicles will be critical for dealers if they wish to have a hedge against rising gas prices. Similarly, Ford procures much of their battery technology from Japan, and supplies could be compromised.
[Source: Automotive News]
With the recent earthquakes and tsunamis devestating Japan, automakers in the country are announcing a series of plant closures. Toyota, Mazda, Honda and Nissan have all announced plans to close various factories through the middle of March, although the plants could remain shuttered beyond that timeframe.
Toyota led the pack by announcing that their plants would close due to supply chain issues related to the disasters. Production of all Scion models will be halted, while the Toyota 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser, Prius and Yaris will see production capacities affected. Similarly, the Lexus GS, LS, IS, GX and LX models will face some kind of production decrease. While many of the company’s most successful models are produced in North America, production at Toyota facilities in Texas, Kentucky and Canada would be hit as parts supplies from Japan may be compromised.
Mazda has also suspened production at two plants in Hiroshima and Hofu, which build their entire range of vehicles. Honda announced that their plants, which export the Civic Hybrid, Insight and versions of the Accord, would see a halt until March 20th, while Nissan announced a stop production order at Japanese plants until March 18th.
It would appear that Mazda, which relies almost entirely on exports, will be hardest hit by the disaster, and we can only hope that both Japan and its car industry recovers quickly from this horrific tragedy.
[Source: Left Lane News]