The March 11 earthquake and resultant tsunami in Japan rocked the country's automotive supply chain, leaving many suppliers with damaged factories and unreliable power. One nearly immediate impact was that automakers like Ford, Toyota and Chrysler could no longer offer colors like red or black.

That's because Merck's Onahama factory, which makes the Xirallic pigment used to add luster to colors, was damaged by the natural disaster. But while repairs were scheduled to take longer, The Detroit News reports that the facility was fixed ahead of schedule and production has resumed.

Peter Halas, who heads Pigments and Cosmetics at Merck, said in a statement that the timely repair of the factory was a major achievement, adding "I would like to thank our employees in Japan for their tremendous efforts."

Merck says that the Onahama facility, which is 36 miles south of the badly damaged Fukushima nuclear plant, is outside of the evacuation area, and the company will adhere to public directives to ensure the safety of employees. The company is also testing products from the plant to comply with safety standards.

To help prevent future shortages of Xirallic, Merck says it plans to establish another production site in Germany for the popular pigment.


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  • 11 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Alluster83
        • 3 Years Ago
        Bubba is a shill, posing as a GM fan and posting ignorant comments against Japan Inc. He is actually doing this to paint GM and its fans in a bad light and I can't believe people are falling for this cr**. And by using stereotypical names "bubba" to do this is a dead giveaway
      Bubba
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm starting to come around to Toyotas and Hondas, but its hard when I'm used to my v8 fwd FOUR SPEED auto GM's with inferior quality. Sorry, I'm a redneck, I can't help loving GM even if it is crap.
        Alluster83
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bubba
        You can tarnish GM all you can by posing as a GM Fanboi and posting ignorant comments, but none of that is going to help your beloved Toyota. GM is creaming Toyota in Global sales and profit, making inroads into the small car market in the US which was long dominated by Toyota and is growing in emerging markets at a larger pace than Toyota. Toyota is allowed to compete fairly with GM in every country including US and both companies can sell as many cars as the market demands, except in Japan where GM is non existent and Toyota sells more than 1.5 Million Cars every year. So with a 1.5 million car disadvantage, GM is still outselling them, which is an impressive feat. Last year TM outsold GM by 30,000 Units only. Japan had heavily incentivised auto sales in Japan for 2010 allowing Toyota to sell hundreds of thousands of cars more than they would have. 2011 First four month sales compared to same period 2010 GM US : +172639 Toyota US : +50418 Toyota Japan: -219679 GM China : + 73,000 Toyota China : + 14000 GM Europe : +14067 Toyota Europe : - 8000 (Rounded Jan - Mar only, april unavailable)
          Synthono
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Alluster83
          This GM fanboy drama is possibly the most bizarre and compelling performance art I've ever seen.
      another Dan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Can anyone name that door handle?
        Prestige
        • 3 Years Ago
        @another Dan
        Looks like something you could buy at pep boys really cheap.