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Business

Nissan supplier stocks falter as faulty inspection halts shipments

Yorozu, others flag while Toyota group suppliers climb

TOKYO -- Auto parts makers that supply to Nissan Motor have languished in the stock market here amid an inspection scandal that has halted the carmaker's domestic shipments.

Since Sept. 29, when Nissan admitted inappropriate inspections, suspension supplier Yorozu has lost 3.9% in stock price as of Tuesday, and interior parts provider Kasai Kogyo has declined 3.8%. Frame parts maker Unipres has fallen 1.1%, and Faltec has edged down 0.3%.

Over the same period, in contrast, Toyota Motor suppliers have fared well. Denso has climbed 3.1%, and Toyota Boshoku has gained 5%. Aisin Seiki has ascended 4.6%, and Jtekt has jumped 10.2%.

The TOPIX's transportation equipment sector subindex rose to its 2017 high on Tuesday. The clear lag of Nissan suppliers stems from aversion by investors fearing that Nissan's shipment suspension could drag on, according to Fumio Matsumoto of Dalton Capital Japan.

As of Friday, Nissan had stopped domestic shipments from all six of its auto plants in Japan. Shipments within Japan account for around 40% of Nissan's domestic production. While production for export continues, the Oppama plant in Kanagawa Prefecture, mainly producing vehicles for Japan, remained idled as of Tuesday. Nissan expects to resume shipments in about two weeks.

"We cannot predict the impact yet," a Faltec executive said. Jatco, which supplies transmissions, has "not altered production shifts," according to a company source. Suppliers are still in the process of gauging the impact on their operations.

But some are beginning to feel the strain. Calsonic Kansei, which makes parts around the driver seat within Nissan factories, has halted that operation at the Oppama site and reassigned workers elsewhere.

Another supplier has said it is shifting production for Nissan to work for other customers. Some parts makers have suspended production for Nissan, and others have slowed shipments to the automaker.

Shinji Kakiuchi, an equity analyst at Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities, says the impact on parts makers will be limited if the shipment suspension is about two weeks. But many are voicing concern that the problem may drag on, as noted by frame parts maker Topre.

(Nikkei)

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