By Colin Bird on March 18, 2011
Nissan Americas says it will start monitoring vehicles imported from Japan for radioactive material today. The automaker also tried to quash fears of supply shortages, especially for the in-demand electric Nissan Leaf.
Nissan is the first Japanese automaker to monitor its vehicles for radioactivity, a move to help quell a growing hysteria over radioactivity in Japanese imports because of the failing Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in northeast Japan. The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, a trade association, released a statement last night saying it has not detected any harmful radiation levels at car plants from its member companies, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Nissan said it would continue to monitor for radioactivity until it’s confident that any risk of contamination is completely removed.
Nissan also made sure to address any potential concerns involving its vehicle supplies. The company says it has a 47-day supply of Nissan vehicles in America and a 49-day supply of Infiniti vehicles. The industry average currently stands at 60 days, so Nissan’s inventory levels are admittedly tighter than most. When the automaker updated us on Wednesday, it said it had approximately a 50-day supply of U.S. inventory. The company says it should be able to continue to run its U.S- based car plants for at least the next seven days without the parts it usually gets from Japan. After March 25, the company will have to reassess the situation. Vehicles like the Nissan Altima, Maxima, Xterra, Frontier, Pathfinder, Titan and Infiniti QX56 are built in the U.S.
The 600 Nissan Leafs headed to the U.S. can be added to the vehicles that are already stateside to total some 1,500 Leafs, Nissan says. Through the end of February the automaker had only sold 173 Leafs.
Honda says it will also continue the suspension of Japanese production until Wednesday. The automaker originally planned to resume production on Sunday. The company builds the Honda Fit and Acura TSX in Japan.
Mazda will resume vehicle production at its plants Tuesday. The automaker builds most of its vehicles in southwest Japan, which is far from the earthquake and tsunami devastation. The Mazda6 and Tribute are built in the U.S.