DETROIT - Japanese automakers idled more plants at least for the next few days as the government rolled out an energy conservation policy and supply chains remained disrupted in the wake of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
The depth of the post-tsunami damage was still being assessed.
Over the weekend, Tokyo Electric Power Co. warned of massive rolling blackouts through much of the country, including central Tokyo. Most businesses responded with self-imposed restraint on power use, particularly at night when shortages are expected to be most acute.
Toyota Motor Corp. is idling all manufacturing plants through Wednesday, which means 40,000 vehicles won’t be assembled. The automakers’ wholly owned factories west of Tokyo sustained little or no damage. But four plants in northern Japan, including the Central Motor plant in Miyagi, where Toyota makes the Yaris subcompact, and the Kanto Auto Works Iwate plant, where it assembles the Scion xB and xD models, were forced to halt production in the tsunami’s wake.
Toyota donated 300 million yen (about $3.7 million) to relief and recovery efforts.
Nissan Motor Co. is contributing 30 million yen to those efforts and is studying additional relief efforts, including giving trucks and forklifts and medical supplies.