Mazda Motor has temporary stopped orders for Japan-built vehicles from its dealers in the U.S. as a result on ongoing production interruption caused by the Japan earthquake on March 11.
Mazda temporarily resumed partial production at its Hiroshima and Hofu plants on March 22, producing replacement parts and parts for overseas production and vehicles utilizing “in-process” inventories. Mazda indefinitely suspended the production of vehicles utilizing “in-process” inventory at its Hofu plant today.
Since only two Mazda vehicles are U.S. sourced in conjunction with Ford Motor – the Mazda 6 car and the Tribute SUV – if Mazda factory shutdowns continue beyond a few weeks, Mazda and its dealers will be severely hurt as vehicle supply will start to run out in late April or May.
It is the latest example of how the complicated auto manufacturing supply chain is vulnerable to natural disasters because it increasingly relies on single sourcing and sub-contracting of key components, as well as “just in time delivery of parts.”
Many of Mazda’s most popular models are involved in the suspension – MX-5 Miata sports car, Mazda 3, CX-7 and CX-9 crossovers. In February Mazda CX-9 posted its best sales ever of 2,876 vehicles, up 43% and CX-7 recorded its best February since 2008, with sales of 2,357 vehicles, up 31.2%.