Japan: Car makers hoping to up production post earthquake

27th June 2011

The car makers will attempt to maintain reasonable production levels by transferring work to the weekends when less energy is used.

However in the UK, Japanese subsidiaries are hoping to return to full production which had been hampered by among other things supply issues.

"The move comes as the UK outposts of major manufacturers, which between them employ more than 10,000 workers, target a return to 100% production following disruption due to component shortages from earthquake-hit Japan. Nissan said it had "stabilised" the situation at its Sunderland plant, while Toyota has promised to claw back UK production losses by the end of the year."

On the comment boards, Bluecloud sees this as a vision of Britain in the future if it doesn't embrace green technology.

"This is what Britain will face as the energy crunch bites. Power shortages will force changes in production periods to fit available energy supplies. Smart grids will cut the peaks if sufficient storage is provided by battery storage from electric vehicles.

"The trouble is that all Japanese production is for conventional internal combustion engines and not electric cars, so the infrastructure is not being built. Instead we have lobbyists pushing for continuing production as usual and promoting silly debates about the pros and cons of nuclear power vs. windmills.

"We desperately need leadership and a vision to guide us to a sustainable future and not this business as usual scenario where workers are pushed even harder to increase production. Where will that end I wonder?"

But it is not just carmarkers. The LA Times reports that it is affecting the wider Japanese economy.

It reports: "To prevent that, officials are asking corporations and households around Tokyo and other areas affected by the quake to cut electricity usage by 15%. By way of example, the Tokyo government has pledged to shave 25% off its energy use by mothballing some elevators, reducing office lighting and setting government thermostats to a balmy 82 degrees.

"The government's message even extends to fashion: Dark suits and ties are decidedly out this summer. Instead, workers are being told, think like an Okinawan and go casual, with untucked tropical shirts, light cotton pants and even sneakers, if you dare."

Japan has recently seen some business leaders call for nuclear power stations currently being checked to start generating again as reported here on the Mainichi News.

It reports that Kansai Electric Power Co. Chairman Shosuke Mori, who also chairs a regional business lobby for Osaka and its vicinity, has called for restarting nuclear reactors, currently out of service for regular checkups, to avoid summer electricity shortages.

It has had an impact on some share prices. For example earlier this month, as reported by website Business and Leadership Toyoto redicted a 35 per cent profit fall due mostly to the earthquake which caused an 8 per cent share price fall.

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