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Nissan, TI Optimistic About Japan Manufacturing's Future

Wed, 03/30/2011 - 4:51am

TOKYO (AP) — Nissan Motor Co. said Wednesday that an engine plant wrecked by the March 11 tsunami won't return to operations until June and it will take "some time" before auto production runs at full capacity.

Nissan spokesman Mitsuru Yonekawa said the Iwaki factory, one of Nissan's two engine plants in Japan, still has no running water. The factory makes 376,000 engines annually.

Nissan shut down its entire auto production in Japan from March 14-16. Nissan said all its auto plants are now running at limited capacity due to parts shortages.

Yonekawa said it would take "some time" for Nissan to resume auto production at full capacity.

The company said the tsunami, which decimated much of industrial northeastern Japan, would result in a production loss of 55,000 cars by the end of March.

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DALLAS (AP) — Texas Instruments Inc. on Tuesday updated its progress on bringing its two Japanese factories back toward full production of chips in the wake of the March 11 earthquake there.

At TI's Miho plant, the systems that support water, gases, chemicals and air have been fixed and the cleanroom has been recertified, the company said. TI added that over 90 percent of the equipment at the Miho factory, which is 40 miles northwest of Tokyo, has been checked out.

The company expects to restart some production there in April and ramp up to full production in July. The plant should be back to full shipping capability in September, TI said.

TI said its plant in Aizu is once again producing some chips and will be producing at its normal capacity by or before mid-April. The Aizu factory is 150 miles north of Tokyo.

The company said it continues to expect that the damage will hurt its first- and second-quarter revenue. TI said it will give details when it reports its first-quarter results April 18.

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