Both international and domestic automakers have begun to feel the sting of a shortage of parts and paint components from factories in Japan.
No Japanese automaker is planning to return to full production soon.
Most Toyota plants will stay offline for weeks. Toyota announced they will stop ordering parts made in Japan as of March 29. The bulk of the Toyota and Lexus assembly plants will remain suspended at least until April 14, after a Reuters report saying they would be down until April 11. Only the Prius and Lexas hybrid production lines appear to be functioning normally. The rest of Toyota's 18 domestic assembly plants remain closed indefinitely.
MSNBC reported that Toyota is asking its US car dealers to stop order for 233 replacement parts made in Japan because the company is worried about running out of them. Toyota told dealers they can’t order 233 parts for Lexus, Scion, and Toyota models unless a customer already needs one for a repair. The company said its parts inventory is adequate even though many parts factories damaged in quake. Restricted orders of some components made at more severely damaged plants to make sure they remain available.
About 70% of Toyota cars and trucks sold in US are built in North America, and 3 out of 4 parts in those vehicles come from factories in region.
BASF announced that Chip Foose, renowned automotive designer and partner with BASF for automotive finishes, visited United States military and their families at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa Bay, Florida. On the March 23rd visit, Foose also spent time with several military men and women currently at James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital recovering from injuries and wounds sustained during combat operations.
“Our troops’ actions allow Americans to have the freedoms and the lives that we have. I think it’s important for our men and women who serve and have served in uniform to know that the nation supports them, and that’s why I’m here,” said Chip Foose, hot rod shop owner and former star of the reality TV series Overhaulin’ on TLC.
Key members of BASF Automotive Refinish Solutions team also joined Foose on the tour. The time was well-spent lifting spirits, bringing encouragement and thanking the men and women for their sacrifices.
The new 1100755 Elegance™ clearcoat from Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes (SWAF) has been approved by the Ford Motor Company on a global basis. The clearcoat has undergone the extensive certification process to meet the Ford WSS-M2P100-D standard for automotive refinish products to assure that vehicles repaired at its dealerships use automotive refinish products of the highest quality.
The Elegance clearcoat was featured in the massive Ford booth at the recent NADA Show in San Francisco. Two new vehicles in its booth showcased the high gloss clearcoat, as more than 18,000 attendees had a chance to see it showcased on the gleaming new 2011 Fiesta models.
“We’re pleased that Ford Motor Company chose to use the Elegance clearcoat to highlight two of its vehicles at NADA,” said Jason Crager, SWAF OEM Business Development Manager. “NADA was a great place to show off the high glamour and depth of the Elegance clearcoat. We look forward to providing the product throughout the network of Ford dealerships as it gives them a terrific option for a very high quality finish.”
For more information on the premium Elegance clearcoat, visit www.sherwin-automotive.com or call 1-800-SWULTRA (1-800-798-5872).
AkzoNobel Automotive & Aerospace Coatings Americas (A&AC) today announces the leaders that have been selected as the 2011 Most Influential Women in the Collision Repair Industry (MIW) designation. Five distinguished honorees are being recognized. They comprise a cross section of service areas within the collision repair from the United States and Canada, including; publishing, industry association, independent shops and multi-shop operations.
• Barbara Davies – Autobody News – Carlsbad, California
• Michelle Malanowich – Queensway Autobody – Prince George, BC
• Jennifer Justice-Hayley – Valley Paint & Body Inc. – Amelia, Ohio
• Susanna Gotsch – CCC Information Services – Chicago, Illinois
• Sharon Mazanec – Sterling Collision Centers, Inc. – Northbrook, Illinois
While warnings to avoid Tsunami relief scams seem to be getting as much press as the news coverage itself, people in the auto industry should not be afraid of legitimate donations to help Japanese victims.
Japan has been one of the most generous nations internationally in disaster relief with many teams dispatched to other parts of the world. For example, a Japanese disaster relief team helping the victims of the New Zealand quake was recalled to help its own citizens.
Please consider supporting at least one of the following relief charities.
Mercy Corps is working to help survivors of Japan's earthquake and tsunami with their longstanding partner, Peace Winds, which specializes in immediate rescue aid.
Peace Winds helicoptered emergency supplies on Monday -- including tents, blankets, cooking fuel, tarps, rice and bread -- to families evacuated from homes in the tsunami-devastated city of Kesennuma.
Your donation will be used to meet immediate and longer-term needs of earthquake survivors.
• American Red Cross: The Red Cross is in Japan helping with emergency relief, food and shelter. To donate, go to www.redcross.org. Checks can be mailed to PO Box 4002018, Des Moines, IA 50340-2018. Donors also can call 1-800-RED-CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to contribute $10.
• Global Giving: The agency is helping other groups with emergency relief. To donate: www.globalgiving.org; Global Giving, Japan relief, 1023 1st St. NW, 12th floor, Washington, DC 20005; or text JAPAN50555 to contribute $10.
• International Medical Corps: The corps is sending a team to Japan to help with medical needs. To donate: www.internationalmedicalcorps.org; Development Department, International Medical Corps, 1919 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 400, Santa Monica, CA 90404; 1-800-481-4462; or text MED8088 to contribute $10.
• AmeriCares: AmeriCares is providing emergency relief and expects to be on the ground in Japan this weekend. To donate: www.americares.org or 88 Hamilton Ave., Stamford, CT 06902
• Save The Children: This organization helps children displaced by the earthquake, providing emergency relief. To donate: www.savethechildren.org; 54 Wilton Rd., Westport, CT 06880; 1-800-728-3843; or text "JAPAN" to 20222 to contribute $10.
Though no employees at Toyota’s production plants in Japan were caught in this weekend earthquake and tsunami, the Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) will close all plants Monday, March 14 in honor of the people of Japan, their colleagues and families.
A company-wide emergency task force TMC has been established to continually assess the situation at their affected plants and take any necessary measures.
No injuries have been reported at Toyota operations, including the corporate headquarters in Tokyo, the Higashifuji facility, Tochigi office, Yamanashi office, Toyota Motor Tohoku facilities or subsidiary vehicle manufacturers.
While most TMC facilities resumed production March 11, four specific plants that produce subsidiary parts plants and vehicles have not yet returned to operation. They include the Toyota Motor Plants in Hokkaido and Tohoku; the Central Motor Corporation that fabricates Yaris models in Miyagi; as well as the producers of the Scion xB and xD, the Kanto Auto Works in Iwate.
Employees of those facilities were evacuate to secure areas.
Collision center professionals who missed the first quarter training sessions offered by The Martin Senour Company have another chance to further develop both their operation and technical skills starting in April when the company kicks off its second quarter training session curriculum. The 2011 course lineup, which is held at various Martin Senour locations nationwide, includes an emphasis on sustainable operations from both a business and technical standpoint.
“We seek to help shop owners, managers and technicians better practice profitable and more productive thinking,” says Jeff Green, Martin Senour Director of Sales. “We also have seen significant interest for classes regarding waterborne technologies, so this year we’re also providing additional courses specific to those practices.”
Automotive News is reporting that the earthquake-triggered tsunami that ravaged Japan's Pacific coast has damaged at least 2,300 Nissan and Infiniti brand vehicles awaiting shipment to U.S. and Japan showrooms. The cars, including nearly 1,300 Infiniti M, EX and FX models bound for North America, were parked at two coastal loading points when the giant waves swept through.
Pictures of the carnage at one of the points, the Port of Hitachi in Ibaraki prefecture, show hundreds of brand new Nissan and Infiniti vehicles piled on top of one another and scattered like toy cars. Television footage later showed many of the Infiniti models engulfed in fire.
About 1,300 cars -- all to be exported to the United States -- were damaged at the Port of Hitachi. Most were Infiniti nameplates such as the M sedan and EX and FX crossovers. But the damaged cars also included a small number of 370Z sports cars, the company said. Those cars are made at Nissan's Infiniti assembly plant in nearby Tochigi prefecture.
A service center in neighboring Miyagi prefecture, where cars were being assembled for shipment to domestic dealers, was likewise devastated by the tsunami. About 1,000 vehicles were damaged at that location.
Nissan Motor Co. confirmed that many of the vehicles at the Port of Hitachi had been consumed by fire. It couldn't give an exact breakdown or identify the cause of the fire.
Fires were widespread throughout much of the disaster zone following Friday's killer 8.9-magnitude earthquake. The quake and the tsunami waves it triggered ruptured gas lines, wiped out villages, devastated ports and wharfs, damaged nuclear power plants and flooded vast areas. Nissan, Toyota, Honda and Subaru were among the automakers suspending production.
Because public transportation was shut down, about 1,500 employees at Nissan plants and offices in the quake area spent the night on-site. Most were expected to return home Saturday.
By Saturday afternoon, there had been no reports of serious injuries among Nissan employees.
"Bottom line -- we are happy no one is hurt. We can build new cars," said Andy Palmer, whose promotion to Nissan executive vice president in charge of corporate and product planning was announced just two hours before the earthquake hit.
Nissan said it would suspend operations on Monday at all five production plants nationwide, including its plant in Kyushu in the far southeast of the country, far from the quakes epicenter.
The company will decide whether to resume production Tuesday after assessing the damage. In response to a request from the city of Yokohama, where Nissan has its global headquarters, the company opened its head office to the public and sheltered about 150 people there the night after the quake, Nissan said.
All regions see significant growth
Automotive leasing in the United States in 2010 represented nearly 19 percent of overall vehicle transactions, according to Polk. This represents a 5.8 percentage point increase over 2009 leasing penetration rates of just 13.1 percent during the economic crisis as several OEMs were pulling away from leasing.
“OEMs began to increase their leasing activities in 2010, and consumers have increased confidence in the market and in turn are beginning to lease vehicles again,” said Stephan Gallon, PolkInsight Advisor.
Although leasing increased in all parts of the country in 2010, the growth was not uniformly distributed among regions. Leasing penetration in the Great Lakes region, which was the country’s highest prior to 2007, was only slightly above the industry average in 2010 with 21.2 percent. Nevertheless, as domestic OEMs with a significant presence in the region came back to leasing, the Great Lakes region recorded the highest growth year-over-year among all regions at +9.2 points.
The National Auto Body Council (NABC) is pleased to announce the appointment of its 2011 Pride chairman, Charles Dillard, director of finance at Precision Body and Paint, Beaverton, Oregon. In his new capacity, Dillard will work with transitional support from 2010 Pride Co-Chair Janet Chaney. Bob Keith, last year’s other co-chair, will be stepping down from his Pride-related duties.
Dillard, through his work at Precision Body and Paint, has an established history of involvement with NABC, including participation in the Recycled RidesTM initiative which donates refurbished vehicles to working families that need viable transportation. In this way, assuming the reins of Pride can be seen as a natural progression for him.