JAPAN | Suzuki Motor to move production away from nuke plant

Posted on July 9, 2011

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JAPAN | ASAHI SHIMBUN | 9 July 2011

Suzuki Motor Corp. will shift half of its engine production at its Sagara plant in Shizuoka Prefecture to another facility to avoid the risk of an accident at a nearby nuclear plant disrupting its supply chain, sources said.

The Sagara plant in Makinohara is only a little more than 10 kilometers from the Hamaoka nuclear power plant in Omaezaki, Shizuoka Prefecture.

This is the first time a major automaker has decided to transfer production domestically after the March 11 earthquake.

Suzuki will transfer the engine production to its Kosai plant in the same prefecture, a production base for minivehicles.

The Kosai plant is more than 50 kilometers from the Hamaoka nuclear power plant.

The company will also move Iwata Motorcycle Technical Center, which is about 100 meters from the coast, to higher ground in northern Hamamatsu to avoid the risk of tsunami, the sources said.

Most of Suzuki’s domestic operations, including its headquarters in Hamamatsu, are concentrated in the western part of Shizuoka Prefecture.

Osamu Suzuki, the company’s chairman and president, told a news conference in late June that the firm plans to relocate facilities currently near the coast or the Hamaoka nuclear power plant.

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