japan earthquake tsunami cars

As someone who lived in Northeast Japan for two years about a decade ago, news of the massive earthquake and tsunami there has been personally unsettling, and it should go without saying that the most important thing in this situation is not when green car plants will come back online. Still, that's what this blog is about, so that'll be our contribution to the earthquake news. For now, auto plants in the region are silent.

For example, Nissan told AutoblogGreen late yesterday:

Production at all of our facilities is suspended through tomorrow [March 14] as we continue to assess the damages and situation going forward. Nothing has been determined beyond that. We will keep you informed as we have updates to share.

In fact, Toyota, Honda and Mazda have all joined Nissan in turning production off in 22 assembly plants for now, to keep workers safe and because of the general impacts of the tragedy. How this will specifically impact cars like the Prius and the new Prius V is unclear. Insurance analysts are estimating that the earthquake and resulting tsunami might end up costing the global industry up to $10 billion.

The photo above shows unidentified vehicles that had been ready for shipping in Ibaraki prefecture but were swept away by the tsunami. Statements from Mazda, Honda and Toyota are available after the jump. If you'd like to donate to the Red Cross for disaster relief, you can do so here. Thanks to David M. and Vince for the emails!

[Source: Nissan, Telegraph UK | Image: STR/AFP/Getty]
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Mazda to Adjust Production Following Major Earthquake in Eastern Japan
March 14, 2011

HIROSHIMA, Japan-Mazda Motor Corporation wishes to convey its heartfelt sympathy and concern for all people affected by the major earthquake in eastern Japan.

Mazda places the highest priority on ensuring the safety of all employees and their families at its suppliers in the affected region. Therefore, Mazda has decided to suspend production at its Hiroshima and Hofu plants from the night shift on March 14 through to the night shift on March 16, 2011.

Mazda will announce any further production changes for March 17 onward as soon as a decision is made.

Honda's Statement on the Major Earthquake in Northeastern Japan

Honda would like to express its deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims of The 2011 Off the Pacific Coast of Tohoku Earthquake in northeastern Japan and our sincere hopes for the earliest possible relief and recovery of the affected areas.

Honda operations

Considering the current situation of the nationwide recovery efforts in Japan, Honda has decided the following:

*As of March 14, all production activities are suspended at the following Honda plants: Sayama Plant at Saitama Factory (Sayama, Saitama), Ogawa Plant (Ogawa-machi, Hiki-gun Saitama), Tochigi Factory (Moka, Tochigi), Hamamatsu Factory (Hamamatsu, Shizuoka) and Suzuka Factory (Suzuka, Mie).
*From March 15 through 20, Honda will suspend all production activities at its plants listed above as well as at Kumamoto Factory (Ozu-machi, Kikuchi-gun, Kumamoto).
*From March 14 through 20, Honda will suspend regular operations at all Honda facilities in the Tochigi area, where damage was more serious, (including Tochigi Factory, Honda R&D Co., Ltd. R&D Center (Tochigi) , Honda Engineering Co., Ltd., etc.), and focus on the recovery of each operation. Honda associates will not come to work during this time.

Aid for the victims of the earthquake

With the hope to contribute to the earliest possible relief and recovery of affected areas, Honda will provide the following aid:

*300 million yen toward the relief and recovery effort
*A total of 1,000 generators (gasoline-powered and home-use gas canister-powered), along with 5,000 gas canisters. Honda also will dispatch its staff to explain how to use the donated generators.

Electricity conservation and cooperation for the rolling blackout requested by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry

Honda will cooperate to the electricity conservation efforts and the rolling blackout, prioritizing the relief and recovery of affected areas.

Recruiting activities

Honda decided the following regarding its recruiting activities so that victims of the earthquake can focus on recovery.

*Prospective associates, who are scheduled to join the company in April, can choose to delay their first day of work by up to two months if they or their families are affected by the earthquake.
*For those who have applied for next year's recruiting process starting in April of this year (associates who would join the company in April 2012) from the affected areas (six prefectures in Tohoku areas and Ibaraki prefecture), Honda will ensure that the testing/interviewing of those applicants will be conducted in June or later. More details will be posted on the recruiting section of the Honda website in April.

Updated Toyota Statement Regarding Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan
NEW YORK, NY (March 14, 2011; Posted at 8:45 AM EDT) - We continue to place priority on supporting the relief efforts in the regions affected and ensuring that our team members, the employees at subsidiary vehicle manufacturers and at our suppliers-and all their respective family members-are safe.

To that end, we are halting production at all plants in Japan (including subsidiary vehicle manufacturers) from March 14 through March 16.

We will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available.

Previous Updates:

NEW YORK, NY (March 13, 2011) - Toyota's associates and team members in North America extend our heartfelt sympathy and deepest condolences to the people of Japan, our colleagues and their families.

Our utmost concern has been the safety of all Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) team members and team members at our partner companies in the Tohoku region.

TMC has established a company-wide emergency task force to continually assess the situation and take initial measures.

There have been no reported injuries at Toyota operations, including the Tokyo head office, the Higashifuji facility, Tochigi office, Yamanashi office, Toyota Motor Tohoku facilities and at TMC subsidiary vehicle manufacturers.

While TMC plants were able to restart production on 3/11, plants that stopped production are Toyota subsidiary plants that produce parts and vehicles, including:

* Toyota Motor Hokkaido Plant
* Toyota Motor Tohoku Plant
* Central Motor Corporation Miyagi Plant, which also produces the Yaris model.
* Kanto Auto Works Iwate Plant, which also produces the Scion xB and Scion xD.

Employees at these facilities were evacuated to safe areas.

We are now conducting a detailed survey of each plant to determine the extent of any damage. We are also currently assessing the situation at our suppliers, dealers and the impact on North American import vehicles.

As we are committed to ensuring the safety of our team members and their families, Toyota has decided to suspend production at all TMC plants, as well as all subsidiary vehicle-manufacturing plants on Monday, March 14th.

Toyota's number one priority is to support our team members at TMC, our partner companies, suppliers and dealers through this situation. On behalf of the company globally, TMC is moving to donate 300 million yen (approximately $3.75 million) for relief and recovery efforts in communities affected by the Tohoku Earthquake and is also considering the provision of goods and services as needed.

We will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available.