JAPAN 'QUAKE: Car plants resuming but at half-speed
Toyota and Nissan Motor on Friday said they would resume production at all domestic plants in mid-April in the aftermath of the 11 March earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern and eastern Japan.
Toyota president Akio Toyoda said in Nagoya that all of the automaker's domestic plants will restart manufacturing from 18 April to meet requests by dealers in quake-hit areas for the early resumption of full-scale production, Kyodo News reported.
Nissan said it would resume normal operations at all domestic plants based on delivery of parts from its suppliers, beginning with two vehicle production plants in Kanagawa Prefecture on Monday.
Honda Motor had previously said it planned to resume output of finished vehicles on Monday (11 April) at its plants in Saitama and Mie prefectures.
''We are making efforts to resume full-fledged production in two to three months,'' Honda President Takanobu Ito said at a news conference at the company's quake-hit automobile research center in Tochigi Prefecture.
The three automakers said production will be at about half the normal rate for now due to ongoing difficulties in obtaining parts.
''Basically, we hope (our business partners) rebuild, but we may use (products) of other companies to cope with risk,'' Honda's Ito said.
Toyota resumed production of three models including the Prius hybrid at two plants on 28 March but production of Toyota vehicles has been suspended at 15 plants in Japan since 14 March.
Nissan said its two plants in Fukuoka Prefecture will resume vehicle production on Wednesday and a plant in Tochigi Prefecture will restart operations on 18 April.
Mitsubishi operated its Okazaki plant on Friday with Pajero Manufacturing Company (PMC) and Mizushima closed. All three will operate on Monday; Okazaki will not produce on Tuesday.