Aisin, Mitsubishi Electric
Also in the Kyushu quake zone, Aisin Seiki halted operations at two plants. One is a body parts factory making such items as sunroofs, door frames and door handles. The other makes die-cast engine parts. There were no injuries at either factory, both in Kumamoto city.
Operations at both parts plants stopped immediately after the quake, but workers were unable to get inside to evaluate the factories until Friday evening because of aftershocks. A spokesman said it appears there is damage inside the plants. The exteriors of the plants have minor structural damage, including collapsed walls and broken windows, the Aisin spokesman said.
Aisin did not indicate when production would resume.
One problem is that the area is suffering a power outage and the factory can’t get electricity, a spokesman said.
The company has only minimal inventory of parts and is taking a two-pronged approach to recovery, the spokesman said.
While trying to restore operations in Kyushu, it is simultaneously planning to shift production to other plants in Japan. Output from Aisin’s plants in Kyushu primarily supplies auto assembly inside Japan and not overseas, he added.
Also among the stricken parts makers: Mitsubishi Electric Corp. It has two plants offline in the disaster area. One makes power semiconductors for use in electric and hybrid vehicles, among other products outside the automotive industry, including air conditions and train motors. The other makes TFT liquid crystal modules that can be used in car navigation systems.
A spokeswoman said workers are checking their production lines and that it was uncertain when their operations would resume.