You've likely seen plenty of news lately about how Japanese automakers have been affected by the March 11 earthquake in Japan, but what about the rest of the industry? The Detroit News reports that research firm IHS Automotive thinks that global auto production could drop by 30 percent, and nearly every major automaker will be affected.

The key to that dire prediction will be the speed with which Japanese suppliers can get back to making parts for the industry. IHS Vice President Michael Robinet reportedly told DetNews that if suppliers aren't online within six weeks, global vehicle production could drop by 100,000 units per day. With average total production sitting at 280,000 to 300,000 units per day, 100,000 represents about 30 percent of all vehicles built. Robinet adds that if parts don't start coming online quickly, automakers will begin feeling the pinch by mid-April.

IHS points to electronics and transmission components as the most likely to run dry. And that 30-percent figure could morph into 40 percent if automakers can't get replacement parts within eight weeks.

Sobering statistics, indeed. We're thinking automakers are hoping Japan can rebuild factories as quickly (and miraculously) as it can rebuild highways.

[Source: The Detroit News]

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