Violent storms hit the Midwest all week. On Sunday and Monday, tornadoes passed through Tennessee, damaging industry suppliers in two parts of the state.
One tornado lifted the roof off of a 230,00-square-foot Johnson Controls Inc. seating component plant in Lexington, Tenn., and then dropped it onto the plant's press room. The early-morning damage closed the plant for about 36 hours. But a company spokesman said that none of its customers experienced a supply interruption.
Nearby in Jackson, Tenn., Toyota and Honda supplier UGN Inc. also experienced slight roof damage and power loss for two days. Jackson experienced considerable damage to its downtown area. UGN, a producer of sound insulation and trim parts, switched over to generator power immediately after the storm and was able to continue shipments without interruption.
The damage to a Yazaki North America Inc.'s sequencing center outside of Nashville, Tenn., threatened to halt production at its customer, Nissan North America Inc. in Smyrna, Tenn. The storm destroyed the southeast corner of its building, along with about 10 percent of its production stock. More daunting, the tornado brought down the operation's computer-based production and delivery system, which would have derailed Nissan's production of Altimas, Maximas, Xterras and Frontiers.
After two days of performing the work manually, Yazaki, a supplier of wire harnesses, re-established the computer system in a vacant building next door, leaving Nissan production uninterrupted.
Tornadoes also swept through central Alabama during the week, including a close pass with Honda Motor Co.'s minivan plant in Lincoln, Ala. Work there halted only temporarily on Wednesday as the company evacuated employees into tornado shelters. There was no damage to the plant.