Sony, Toyota Shut Factories After Power Shortages Follow Earthquake Damage

Monday, March 14, 2011
By Paul Martin

By Terje Langeland
Bloomberg.com

Japanese manufacturers including Sony Corp. (6758) and Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) closed plants today after the nation’s strongest earthquake damaged factories and crippled nuclear power plants, causing electricity shortages.

Sony, Japan’s biggest exporter of consumer electronics, halted operations at 10 factories and two research centers because of power outages and damages, said Mami Imada, a spokeswoman for the Tokyo-based company. Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, said it closed all 12 factories in Japan through Wednesday, and its auto-body makers’ plants are closed today. Honda Motor Co. said it would stop output at plants in four locations.

Japan worked to contain an emergency at a nuclear plant north of Tokyo as local police said the death toll from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami may top 10,000. Tokyo Electric Power Co., battling possible meltdowns at its nuclear reactors, planned rolling blackouts in Tokyo and eight surrounding prefectures to conserve power.

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