Toyota has told all thirteen of its U.S. plants to prepare for a possible shutdown because of parts shortages from Japan. Honda extends its shutdown of Japanese assembly plants through April 3.
Nissan will continue producing at least until further notice and may even bring U.S.-made engines to Japan. GM stopped production in one engine plant and idled its pickup assembly plant in another. Suzuki has been out, and Mazda sees shortages ahead.
So these parts stoppages are sporadic, uncertain, and beginning to spread across the globe. The earthquake/tsunami’s effects were so horrendous that damage assessment has been slow, not to mention human rescue efforts and recovery of infrastructure. The latter will take years. You saw the pictures.