Factory and infrastructure damage could hit global supplies for weeks

MANUFACTURERS worldwide could be hit for weeks to come following Japan’s catastrophic earthquake and tsunami.

Leading technology firms and car manufacturers in the country have been forced to suspend production and close factories, including microchip producer Toshiba and Japan’s three largest car manufacturers Toyota, Honda and Nissan.

Companies with links to Japan could take a hit, as components needed for assembly in Europe and the US struggle to get through.

David Leiker, analyst at wealth manager Baird, said infrastructure damage could affect shipments.

Several firms, including the world’s second largest chipmaker Texas Instruments, said they would look to source products from elsewhere.

British chip designer ARM Holdings could take a knock on hit, along with other technology firms with links to operations in Japan.

The country last year accounted for 13.9 per cent of global electronic equipment factory revenue, according to data provider IHS iSuppli.

It produced $216.6bn (£134.8bn) worth of electronic equipment in 2010.