Sony and Nissan restart some factories

TOKYO Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:36am EDT

A Sony logo is pictured at an electronic shop in Tokyo February 3, 2011. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

A Sony logo is pictured at an electronic shop in Tokyo February 3, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon

TOKYO (Reuters)- Sony Corp (6758.T) said it would partially restart a lithium ion battery factory in Tochigi prefecture on Tuesday, leaving six plants, which make a range of devices from integrated circuit cards to Blu-ray discs, still closed.

The consumer electronics giant is one of dozens of Japanese companies to shut factories and slash output following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami which have disrupted supplies.

Nissan Motor Co (7201.T), Japan's No.2 automaker, restarted limited operations at five plants in Japan on Monday, with vehicle production expected to start later in the week.

Japan is reeling from a humanitarian and nuclear crisis after the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami. The country is a key supplier to the global auto and technology industries.

Nissan said in a statement it would resume production of repair parts and parts for overseas manufacturing at its Oppama, Tochigi, Yokohama, Kyushu and Nissan Shatai plants.

Vehicle production is planned to start on Thursday and will continue while supplies last, it said.

Restoration of its Iwaki engine plant, in northern Japan, is expected to take longer than the other plants, it added.

Nissan makes about 22 percent of its vehicles in Japan. Goldman Sachs has estimated the profit impact for stopping production to be about 2 billion yen ($24.8 million) a day for Nissan.

Toshiba (6502.T) said on Monday output was still halted at a factory in Iwate prefecture making system LSI chips for microprocessors and image sensors. It has begun work to bring the factory back on line, but has no timeframe to resume output.

Toshiba said an assembly line at a plant in Japan making small liquid crystal displays for smartphones and other devices will be closed for a month to repair damaged machinery.

Sony is not sure when its plants will resume operations. Some of the plants' output is supplied to other manufacturers, including customers overseas.

Renesas (6753.T), the world's No.5 chipmaker, has halted operations at 8 of its facilities and is also unsure when production will resume.

The company said it was unlikely to start some of its plants until the threat of power cuts, expected to last until the end of April, diminished.

($1 = 80.610 Japanese Yen)

(Writing by Lincoln Feast, Editing by Editing by Ian Geoghegan)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

California state worker Albert Jagow (L) goes over his retirement options with Calpers Retirement Program Specialist JeanAnn Kirkpatrick at the Calpers regional office in Sacramento, California October 21, 2009. Calpers, the largest U.S. public pension fund, manages retirement benefits for more than 1.6 million people, with assets comparable in value to the entire GDP of Israel. The Calpers investment portfolio had a historic drop in value, going from a peak of $250 billion in the fall of 2007 to $167 billion in March 2009, a loss of about a third during that period. It is now around $200 billion. REUTERS/Max Whittaker   (UNITED STATES) - RTXPWOZ

How to get out of debt

Financial adviser Eric Brotman offers strategies for cutting debt from student loans and elder care -- and how to avoid money woes in the first place.  Video