Hitachi resumes battery production for Buick LaCrosse, Regal eAssist models

2012 Buick LaCrosse eAssist – Click above for high-res image gallery

Three of Hitachi's automotive factories in Japan are back online, including a facility that manufactures lithium-ion batteries for General Motors' eAssist-equipped models.

Hitachi Vehicle Energy in Ibaraki Prefecture is operational and has resumed production of lithium-ion batteries for the 2012 Buick LaCrosse eAssist and the 2012 Buick Regal eAssist models. Hitachi Automotive Systems' Sawa Works factory – the site of production for electric motors and inverters for several hybrid vehicles – is back online and pumping out parts, too.

Hitachi America spokesman Mickey Takeuchi told Automotive News (sub. req.) that, even with the progress, there are still problems:
The assembly lines have started, but it's not to 100 percent. They have electricity and water and gas.
Atsushi Konno, a spokesman for Hitachi in Tokyo, says that the plants are operating at 70 percent capacity this week as quality controls checks will be conducted.

With Toyota resuming limited production of some models and Nissan announcing that assembly lines at its Oppama factory are moving and that Leafs are trickling out of the plant's doors once again, Japan's automotive industry seems to be slowly recovering from the devastation.

2012 Buick LaCrosse eAssist
2012 Buick LaCrosse eAssist
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[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

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