Details continue to remain sketchy surrounding the effect on automakers’ manufacturing capacity following today’s (11 March) massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan although the aftershocks are continuing to impact as far as south as Tokyo.
Speaking to just-auto from the NBF Tower in Tokyo, a member of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) said the organisation had not yet been able to establish contact with its members comprising eight auto, four commercial vehicle and two motor cycle constructors.
“Right now there are no trains and subways in operation – there is no way to get home,” the JAMA member said. “I am probably staying in the office overnight. According to the television the roads are very congested – some of our staff members have already gone home on foot.
“We are very affected – there are some aftershocks.” He added Japanese television was reporting the magnitude of the earthquake as the largest ever to strike the country.
The JAMA member added no information had yet been forthcoming from Toyota – whose new assembly plant at Sendai – near to where the tsunami slammed ashore – builds the Yaris model for the US and the Corolla for Japan.
Japanese reports indicate a gigantic wall of water up to 33ft high was triggered by today’s earthquake, which has also seen huge damage and loss of life.
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Fires are reported down in Tokyo while further indications are that a tsunami warning has been extended to the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, the Pacific coast of Russia and Hawaii.