From Apple Inc’s new iPad to Chevrolet pick-ups and many of the world’s airplane kitchens, concern is spreading down the global manufacturing supply chain about the impact from Japan’s earthquake on Friday last week.
Even where factories in Japan are operating, power outages, shortages of fuel and raw materials and ruptured logistics mean products and parts face delays in getting to customers.
Apple may face shortages of key parts for its newly released iPad 2, according to a report from research firm IHS iSuppli.
Several parts of the new version of the popular iPad tablet PC come from Japan, including the battery and the flash memory used to store music and video on the device.
“Logistical disruptions may mean Apple could have difficulties obtaining this battery, and it may not be able to secure supply from an external, non-Japanese source,” iSuppli said.
Toshiba Corp, one of the companies that produces the NAND flash memory used in the iPad 2, according to IHS iSuppli’s research, had briefly shut a flash memory facility in Japan and warned it could face problems getting raw materials.
Several other iPad 2 parts are sourced from Japan, the IHS iSuppli report said, noting some of these, particularly the chips, could be procured from alternative suppliers.
Goldman Sachs warned of potential bottlenecks in the supply of silicon wafers, conductive film used in LCD circuits and resin used to connect chips to boards — products made by Japanese companies such as Shin Etsu and divisions of Sony, Hitachi and Mitsubishi.
Honda Motor Co said yesterday it extended a production halt in Japan, where it makes more than one-fifth of its cars, for a further three days until Wednesday next week.
Citing a memo distributed by the automaker, the Wall Street Journal reported Honda had also warned US dealers it was not sure if it could resume full production at some of its Japanese plants before May.
The largest US automaker, General Motors Co, said it would temporarily idle a pick-up truck plant in Louisiana, where it builds the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon models, because of a parts shortage stemming from the crisis in Japan.
North American output is likely to be affected unless Japanese suppliers revive their plants and send parts within 10 days, Wolfe Trahan & Co analyst Tim Denoyer said in a note.
Renault Samsung, the South Korean unit of French carmaker Renault SA, said it will cut back on weekend and overtime production because of a potential parts shortage and GM’s South Korean unit said it was considering a similar move.
A Japanese company that makes galleys for the long-awaited Boeing 787 Dreamliner said it could also face delivery delays because of scarce gasoline supplies.
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