• Jul 14th 2010 at 8:01AM
  • 9
Hitachi Automotive supplies engine control units to Nissan. Further up the chain, an unnamed supplier hasn't been able to fulfill Hitachi's need for a custom integrated circuit, so Hitachi hasn't been able to fulfill Nissan's orders for ECUs. That has put Nissan in the potential position of needing to halt Altima and Sentra production for three days, July 14-16, at factories in Tennessee and Mexico.

The Altima and Sentra would take the fall first as they're Nissan's volume models. Hitachi's delay has already interrupted production in Japan, but thus far the issue has only involved 15,000 units. A U.S. and Mexico plant stoppage of two company staples would bite more deeply into Nissan's combined 1.2-million-unit production capacity. It's suspected that Subaru and perhaps Honda are also affected by the ECU delay.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I agree. Low cost by way of a contract to perform on an interrupt basis probably. Hitachi may have gotten a lower price (and, therefore, Nissan) by not putting enough teeth in the terms and conditions as to "must deliver or pay penalties". One can almost hear the chip supplier saying, "no need to worry, we make these things by the millions, there'll be no possibility of interruption and we can offer you a lower price". Prolly saved two bucks a chip or some such nonsense.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Interesting spdracerut, but it is it more a result of going with the absolute lowest bid contractor or manufacturer of that one piece or is a problem with "just in time production"?
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Sentra is a volume model? i barely see any of them around...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Oh yeah, the Sentra is big here in NYC. I tried to get my aunt into an Elantra, but she gravitated towards the Sentra. During July 4th, they had a $179/ month lease. My aunt ended up buying the Altima, which is good cause she has a husband and 2 kids.
        I woulda perferred she got the Sonata, but Hyundai cars are slightly more expensive than Nissan's.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Can't they find a U.S. domestic supplier of ECUs?
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's actually not the ECU's supplier Hitachi's fault, it's the supplier of the integrated circuit to Hitachi that is to blame. I've been in the industry a few years now.... it's amazing how a 'product' is made up of parts from hundreds of suppliers. All it takes is one supplier to delay an entire product!
        • 5 Years Ago
        wow, that would be a TON of work to rewrite a ECU for a different microcontroller for a couple weeks. Embedded work is pretty hardware specific. They went with hitachi/renesas for a reason.

        Also, in the embedded world, a lot of companies slowed down production during the recession, and they are just NOW starting to ramp up production again, so I could see electronic shortages in other areas in the future, I know it's affecting my company.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Kinda weird to post a picture of a 2009 Altima, isn't it?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Incorrect yes. But not surprising, all them look alike anyway.
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