Japanese automakers to run plants on weekends to save power

Written by: Pti
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Japanese automakers
Tokyo, May 19: The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association today said its member firms will close their plants in Japan on Thursdays and Fridays and open them Saturdays and Sundays from July through September this year to reduce weekday electricity consumption.

The measure is in response to the government's request that electricity consumption be cut by 15 percent in peak demand hours this summer in the service areas for Tokyo Electric Power Co and Tohoku Electric Power Co after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami damaged their power generation capacity.

"We have given priority to electricity conservation and stable production," JAMA Chairman Toshiyuki Shiga told a press conference. "The measure will produce a great effect to reduce peak electricity demand on weekdays." Shiga, also chief operating officer of Nissan Motor Co., indicated that the auto industry with great influences on the industrial world should take leadership in conserving electricity.

The Japan Auto Parts Industries Association plans to move in step with JAMA to stabilize production and save weekday electricity consumption. JAMA has urged other industries to close manufacturing plants on weekdays.

Earlier today, under the industry ministry's initiative, Japanese automakers started discussions aimed at working out a strategy to revive the industry amid supply chain disruptions and power restrictions following the disaster.

"I hope Japan's automobile industry will maintain its status and role...in the world economy, although the conditions are tough," industry minister Banri Kaieda told the meeting while adding that he also expects automakers to play a key role in developing new energy sources such as storage batteries.

Officials attending the gathering, including Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda and Honda Motor Co.

President Takanobu Ito, would continue addressing such issues as supply chain enhancement and domestic car market revitalization before summing up their discussions on an interim basis in June for future policy making, ministry officials said.

PTI (Kyodo)

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