As Japan continues to battle with the aftermath from its 9.0 earthquake, the Japanese motorcycle industry has been placed into a holding pattern while the country handles more pressing issues. With news that the Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha factories would be temporarily shutting down last week, more news has been released updating us on the status with these companies. Issuing current statements are: Bridgestone, Honda, Kawasaki, and Suzuki. Check their statuses after the jump.
Bridgestone Americas reports that the company has at least a six-month supply of tires in stock, which should be sufficient to meet demand at the company’s tire plant in Japan, which is currently only doing partial production. With all of Bridgestone’s tires produced in Japan, virtually all at the same facility, there’s been concern whether it would be able to continue with its production schedule.
Bridgestone’s most affected factory was taken offline for a few days for inspection, but is now running using power provided via generators. Bridgestone reportedly can stay in partial-production mode for several months before it affects supplies in the United States.
Honda has decided to keep its Kumamoto factory closed until March 23rd, along with its automobile facilities in Saitama and Suzuka. Beyond citing the earthquake, Honda hasn’t given a reason for the extended closure, but the company will decide after the 23rd whether it wants to re-open those facilities.
Kawasaki released a press release after seeing the other three Japanese manufacturers do so, the length of delay likely stemming from the fact that Kawasaki’s Akashi motorcycle plant is 400 miles south of where the devastation is in Japan, and was not affected by the earthquake. Kawasaki closed its plants last week (except for one production line), as did the other Japanese manufacturers, and says its biggest concern will stem from disruptions in its supply chain, as some of its suppliers have been affected by the earthquake. Kawasaki has donated about $1.2 million to the disaster relief in Japan.
Suzuki will temporarily re-open some of its manufacturing facilities March 22nd-23rd, in order to complete units that were partially finished on the assembly line. This process included Suzuki’s motorcycle plant in Toyokawa, and automobile facilities in Kosai and Sagara. Suzuki plants have remained closed since March 14th. Suzuki will assess whether it wants to re-open its facilities on March 24th.
Source: Bridgestone, Honda, Kawasaki, & Suzuki