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This article from Reuters via Automotive News caught my eye, for reasons I'll explain afterwards:

Toyota, other carmakers suspend output on typhoon

TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co. and Mazda Motor Corp. on Tuesday suspended work at car assembly plants in southwestern Japan as a safety precaution against a powerful typhoon that was snarling transportation and dumping heavy rains in the region.

Honda Motor Co. had also halted production on Monday night at a factory in the southern island of Kyushu that makes motorcycles, power products and engines, and said it would cancel the day's work on Tuesday.

The carmakers said they saw no long-term impact from the suspension since lost production could be made up through overtime or other means.

Toyota and Nissan canceled both shifts at their factories in Kyushu, Japan's third biggest main island. Nissan, Japan's second-biggest automaker, said it planned to make up for the 2,000 units in lost output on Sept. 24.

Mazda suspended work at several plants in the western Japanese prefectures of Hiroshima and Yamaguchi, estimating lost vehicle production at 2,000 to 3,000 units.

Early Tuesday the eye of the storm made landfall near the city of Nagasaki in Kyushu. It was moving north at 30 km an hour (19 mph) but was forecast to swing east and beat a path up the Japan Sea coast, bringing rain and strong winds to western Japan and parts of South Korea before hitting the northernmost main Japanese island of Hokkaido.

The significance of this story?: Probably not much. Bear in mind, however, that one of the two Toyota/Lexus plants producing the new Lexus IS (Kyushu) was surely closed down for at least that day. I don't see Lexus taking Mazda's implicit attitude of surrender (Mazda [is] estimating lost vehicle production at 2,000 to 3,000 units). Hopefully, Toyota's response will be more akin to Nissan's (Nissan...said it planned to make up for the 2,000 units in lost output on Sept. 24). Still, this could cause minor hiccups in early 2006 Lexus IS production.
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