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Truck Makers Suspend Operations in Japan

Japan’s major truck manufacturing plants have been temporarily closed in the aftermath of last week’s earthquake and tsunami,, but it’s still too early to tell if there will be any long-term impact, according to U.S. representatives for Hino, Isuzu and Mitsubishi Fuso.

“Our plants and headquarters did not sustain any serious damage, but due to scheduled blackouts and supply-chain concerns, our plant in Fujisawa will be closed this week,” said Shaun Skinner, executive vice president and general manager of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America. The company has not yet released its plant plans for next week.

Dealer stock and the port supply of Isuzu trucks here in the U.S. is currently good, Skinner told Fleet Owner in an email, but “it is impossible to know right now what the longer term disruption will be, if any.”

The areas around Hino Motors’ Japanese plants were not heavily impacted by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, according to Glenn Ellis, vice president of marketing and dealer operations for Hino operations in the U.S.

“However, there are some suppliers in the regions that have been impacted [and] that could have an effect on the plants at some point, but it is really too early to tell,” Ellis said in an email.

Mitsubishi Fuso’s Japanese offices and plant were not damaged, either, according to Todd Bloom, president & CEO of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America. “We are taking the week to assess everything [and there is] no news at this point,” Bloom told Fleet Owner in an email.

Meanwhile, reports that all major Japanese automotive manufacturers have also suspended plant operations to take stock of damage and disruption to their supply chains.

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