James B. Treece, ERJ staff (AN)
Tokyo -- Denso Corp. will lend a factory to a maker of rubber auto parts to temporarily replace a plant damaged by the March 12 earthquake, the Japanese parts supplier said today.
Denso, a member of the Toyota Group, is the world's largest parts supplier.
Toyota Motor Corp. has said its production in Japan is constrained by shortages of electronic, rubber and plastic parts.
Denso and a subsidiary, Denso East Japan Corp., have agreed to temporarily lend Denso East Japan's plant to Fujikura Rubber Ltd., which has plants that have not operated since the quake. The agreement came after Fujikura Rubber approached Denso about using the factory to produce industrial rubber products.
Denso already had made the buildings of Denso East Japan, of Tamura City in quake-ravaged Fukushima Prefecture, available as an emergency evacuation area.
Denso East Japan, a wholly-owned unit of Denso Corp., began construction of its sole manufacturing plant last year and had targeted a May 2011 production launch date. Although established in April 2008, Denso East Japan had postponed construction of its plant and the launch of operations due to the recession.
Denso said today that it still expects Denso East Japan to make air conditioning systems, although those plans now are on hold with the loan of the factory to Fujikura Rubber.
From Automotive News (A Crain publication)