Mazda targets thousands of at-risk parts
Shanghai -- Mazda Motor Corp. - scrambling to recover from last month's earthquake - has identified thousands of auto parts at risk of shortage and is working to either obtain them from alternative suppliers or change their specifications.
Mazda research and development chief Seita Kanai, speaking on the sidelines of the Shanghai auto show, said the company is rushing to plug the gaps in its supply chain following the March 11 earthquake in Japan.
He said there were "several thousand" at-risk parts Mazda is aiming to resource before stocks of parts made before the quake run out.
Some of the newly sourced or newly designed parts are expected to be available for assembly and production use by May, helping ease any shortages.
Kanai said Mazda was using the same inspection process to validate the new parts and was not using an abridged or shortened testing and confirmation process.
To preserve parts at its Flat Rock, Mich., factory, its only U.S. assembly plant, Mazda has curtailed production and eliminated overtime. It is operating on stockpiled parts, Kanai said.
Mazda's two assembly plants in Japan are also operating at limited output.
Kanai said it could be late or after summer before they come back to pre-quake production levels.
That's partly because of concerns about a steady supply of electricity during the hot summer months when power demand spikes because of increased air conditioning use.
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