Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The cost of the earthquake in Japan extends around the world...One small part brings auto production lines to a halt.

It is quite amazing that ONE small part costing only $90.00 can bring auto production lines to a halt.  The costs of the earthquake in Japan extend way beyond its borders...

Japan Parts Shortage Hits Auto Makers :  Hard-to-Find Electronic Component Made by Hitachi Causes U.S., European Production Cutbacks by GM and Peugeot

""A small electronic part that measures airflow to car engines is becoming a big worry for the auto industry in the wake of Japan's earthquake and tsunami.
The disaster has forced auto and parts plants throughout Japan to shut down. General Motors Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and PSA Peugeot-Citroën have cut or are making plans to curb output of thousands of vehicles in the U.S. and Europe due to concerns about a shortage of critical parts made in Japan.

On Wednesday, Toyota warned employees it expects to halt some production in the U.S. and Canada as a result of shortages of parts from Japanese suppliers. "It is clear we will incur some non-production time," the company said in a memo. "The amount of non-production is still uncertain."

One part coming under increased scrutiny goes into mass airflow sensors. Made by Hitachi Automotive Systems, a unit of Hitachi Ltd., at a plant north of Tokyo that was damaged by the quake and remains shut down, the electronic part is used by about a dozen auto makers.

Hitachi, which has a 60% share of the world's market for airflow sensors, said it hopes to resume operations by Saturday, but isn't sure how much of its capacity will be restored by then. The area is suffering from water and power shortages.

The sensors cost about $90 each in retail stores. While supplies of the chip are still available and Siemens AG and Robert Bosch GmbH also make airflow sensors, some auto makers are curtailing production out of fear that their supplies could run out.""
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