Quake could cost Japan’s top car firms £600m in lost production

DISRUPTION from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami could cost the country’s top four carmakers up to £600m, according to Goldman Sachs estimates.

Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Suzuki are unlikely to suffer any major opportunity loss, said GS analyst Kota Yuzawa in a note, but production stoppages are set to dent profits by £45m, or 6bn yen, a day for Toyota and £15.2m a day for the rest.

The loss of finished cars in the disaster could also cost several billion yen.

An estimated 155,000 cars would have been built during the stoppages, though Goldman thinks the firms can go some way to catching up, given that the plants were not running at full capacity before the disaster.

Nissan resumed production on Friday, while Toyota and Honda hope to restart on Wednesday. Suzuki is due to start work again today.

General Motors said at the weekend that it would suspend all non-essential spending and cut production in Spain and Germany in response to the quake on 11 March, as the effects are felt throughout the supply chain.