Suzuki suspends production, but no shortages forecasted yet

Suzuki has closed its Japanese manufacturing facilities until March 21. The OEM said it would reassess the emergency situation in Japan next week to determine when the plants would re-open.

Steve Bortolamedi, senior communications manager at Brea, Calif.-based American Suzuki Motor Corp., told Dealernews that no vehicle shortages in the U.S. have been predicted so far.

The OEM's manufacturing facilities are roughly 150 miles south of Tokyo and did not receive any direct effects from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, Bortolamedi said. The facilities are complying with the rolling power blackouts across Japan in order to conserve energy, he noted.

SMC will need to cope with getting its employees back to work, he said. The nation's transportation system is disrupted, and employees who have loved ones near the epicenter may need time away from work to attend to personal matters.

The following facilities are closed until at least March 21:

  • Takatsuka - motorcycle engine assembly and machining
  • Toyokawa - motorcycle and outboard motor assembly
  • Iwata - multipurpose vehicle and commercial vehicle assembly
  • Kosai - passenger car assembly
  • Osuka - foundry

"Suzuki Motor Corporation expresses heartfelt sympathy to those affected by the earthquake in Japan," the company stated on its global website. The OEM announced it had donated 30 million yen (about $375,000) to the Japanese Red Cross for the relief and recovery effort from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.