Nissan Europe said it would donate US$1m in cash and in-kind contributions to support earthquake relief efforts in Japan and that all manufacturing plants in Europe remain in operation for now – though the mid-term impact remained unclear on Thursday afternoon.

The European contribution takes the automakers global contributions to over $3.75m (JPY400m and includes the provision of 50 vehicles to support aid agencies in the affected areas of Japan.

“All Nissan in Europe manufacturing facilities remain operational and will continue to operate on a planned production schedule until further notice,” Nissan Europe said in a statement.

“Although all plants in Japan, except for the Iwaki engine plant, have been able to repair some damaged facilities and/or equipment, it is still taking time to arrange delivery of parts from our suppliers.

“As for the Iwaki engine plant, with aftershocks still heavily impacting the region, restoration activities are expected to take longer than at other plants.

It said Japanese plants Oppama, Tochigi, Yokohama and Nissan Shatai had suspended operations until Sunday 20 March though part of the Yokohama factory resumed operations on 13 March.

Kyushu and Nissan Shatai Kyushu [in the south of the country] were resuming production today (Thursday 17 March) and Friday “while inventory of supplies lasts”.

“However, operations after Saturday March 19 are yet to be decided,” the statement said.

Nissan’s JATCO’s Fuji Plant and Fujinomiya Plant, which manufactures transmissions, have reported partial damage to buildings and equipment. Operations have been suspended and damage is currently being assessed.

“Nissan in Europe does not anticipate any short-term impact on sales or vehicle availability due to a strong European manufacturing footprint, which supplies around 80% of vehicles sold in the region,” Nissan said.

It added it had sufficient vehicle supply to maintain sales and customer deliveries for at least six weeks as well as adequate [component] supplies already en-route to Europe to continue production.

“Due to supply disruption in Japan, we anticipate some impact in the medium term but it is too soon to determine the extent of that impact,” Nissan said.