TOKYO – Subaru is suspending production in Japan for about a week because some suppliers were inundated with water from a deadly typhoon that swept the country dumping record rains.
Subaru halted output at its Gumma plant in Japan after the morning shift on Wednesday, the Japanese carmaker said in a news release. It expects to be down until around Oct. 25.
The temporary shutdown does not affect operations at Subaru’s plant in Indiana, which will continue production as normal, a Subaru spokeswoman in Tokyo said. In the U.S., Subaru imports the BRZ sporty coupe, Crosstrek crossover, WRX performance car and Forester crossover from Japan.
Subaru's U.S. inventories already are tight, with only 19 days' supply as of Oct. 1, according to the Automotive News Data Center.
Although the suspension lasts roughly a week, Subaru will lose only about four and a half days of output, because work was not scheduled for the weekend or the following Monday and Tuesday, in observance of the enthronement ceremonies for the nation’s new emperor.
The plant produces about 2,500 vehicles a day, meaning a possible loss of 11,250 vehicles.
“There have been some cases of damage including inundation at some of our suppliers (both direct and indirect),” Subaru said in its release. “These suppliers are currently working to normalize their operations with our human and material support as well, but we expect some impairment of their supply of automotive components and parts to Subaru.”
Subaru declined to identify the affected suppliers or say how many were under water. But the spokeswoman said at least one was involved in metal stamping.
Typhoon Hagibis raked eastern Japan on Oct. 12, killing dozens, forcing thousands to evacuate, cutting power to hundreds of thousands more and triggering widespread flooding and landslides. The death toll has since climbed to 77 people, according to Japan’s Kyodo News.
Japanese media have reported several suppliers being overwhelmed by the rising waters, and other Japanese automakers, including Toyota and Mitsubishi, are monitoring supply lines.
Alps Alpine said some parts of its automotive audio equipment making facilities were soaked at a subsidiary plant in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, according to the Nikkei.
It could take more than 10 days for Alps Alpine to resume operations, the report said.
Panasonic suspended operations of its Koriyama plant, where it produces electronics, because it was inundated from flooding of the nearby Abukuma River, the Nikkan Kogyo business daily reported. Panasonic said it was uncertain when the plant will resume work.
An industrial park in Koriyama also includes facilities of Hitachi, Anritsu and Clarion, it said.
-- Naoto Okamura contributed to this report.