According to Automotive News, Japanese automakers have seen their production drop by over 500,000 units since the March 11 earthquake struck the island nation. In the month since the disaster, the country's seven largest automakers lost around 516,000 units of production due to damage to production facilities and supplier delays. Toyota has been the hardest hit, with a loss of 260,000 units as of April 8. The automaker has a total of 18 domestic manufacturing facilities, and while two of those are back online, the remainder won't open their doors until at least April 18. Even then, the plants may shut down again after April 27.
Honda, Suzuki, Subaru, Nissan, Mazda and Mitsubishi are all operating on some level, though production is an on-again, off-again affair. As an example, Nissan has managed to re-open all five of its Japanese facilities, though production has been scaled back to half-pace for the time being. There's no word as to when full production will ramp up once again.
[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.| Image: Wally Santana/AP]