TodayApril 16, 2022

Simon Sproule, Nissan, on the Japanese earthquake & Tsunami

Simon Sproule is the Chief Vice President, Global Marketing Communications, Nissan Motor Company. Sproule lives in Japan and goes to work everyday at Nissan’s headquarters in Yokohama, Japan. He was at his office when the earthquake hit. What would normally take 45 minutes to get home to his wife and newborn baby took over three hours.

Sproule talked to John Batchelor,, and Lou Ann Hammond, CEO, right after the 6.2 aftershock on March 13, 2011.

Just in time inventory was made famous by the Japanese car companies. It saved space and cost because you only produced what you needed.
The manufacturing facilities are still shut down, reasonably so. The trains are sporadic, electricity is sporadic, people’s nerves are on edge. Everyone is grateful there were so few lives lost and so few people injured in the car community.

On a longer term vision: What does this do globally for all car manufacturer? Most car manufacturers buy parts and supplies from Japan.
Driving the Nation

Headquarters:Yokohama, Japan
cars imported from Japan to the USA:
Infiniti M, EX and FX G coupe, G sedans. M sedans, possible hybrids. EX, FX. Nissan shares Infiniti’s platform Skylines, Skyline Crossovers, Fairlady Zs, Fugas, Muranos, Infiniti Ms, Gs, FXs and EXs and the Z and the Nissan Leaf.
Port:Port of Hitachi

At least 2,300 Nissan and Infiniti brand vehicles awaiting shipment to U.S. and Japan showrooms were damaged and some later caught fire when Friday’s tsunami swept through the Port of Hitachi. They included nearly 1,300 Infiniti M, EX and FX models headed for North America.
Iwaki Plant (Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture), Tochigi Plant (Kawachi County, Tochigi Prefecture), Yokohama Plant (Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture), Oppama Plant (Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture), Zama Operations Center (Zama City, Kanagawa Prefecture) all suspended operations immediately.

Small fires broke out at the Tochigi Plant and the Iwaki Plant casting facilities but have been extinguished.

There will be imminent shipping disruptions and inventory losses. Every single community can expect to be off the grid for three hours at a time.

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.