Greater use of common parts among suppliers is being mooted by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) following the country's massive earthquake in March.

JAMA chairman Toshiyuki Shiga mulled a move to common parts as a way to improve the supply chain that could cope better with events on the magnitude of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

"He did say [at an event in Tokyo] he would think about common parts, he did not decide yet [when]," a JAMA spokeswoman told just auto, adding: "But if you use common parts, you might lose each company's originality,

"We don't know yet when this could take place - we have had no reaction yet from our members."

The JAMA spokeswoman noted it was not only the suppliers group that was mulling a common parts approach - part of the thinking was coming from the Japanese government as well.

Japan is still suffering some electricity supply issues - particularly now the summer months are here - with some automakers deciding to close on Thursdays and Fridays - although even that suggestion may now be open to question by selected manufacturers.

The spokeswoman confirmed that so far, only one of its members, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, had opted to shift its working week, although she added others could follow suit.

JAMA noted there were still some electricity shortages in Tokyo as well as some other major Japanese cities.