TOKYO -- Merck KGaA, the German paint pigment maker whose lost production prompted some automakers to stop taking orders for certain color vehicles, is repairing its earthquake-damaged plant in Japan and expects to resume production around June 1.
Merck started repairs April 11, spokeswoman Phyllis Carter said by phone from Germany.
She declined to say what kind of damage the plant sustained but denied reports that Merck had evacuated the plant because of concerns about its proximity to the ailing nuclear power plant that was slammed by a tsunami after Japan's March 11 earthquake.
"There was never an issue with radiation," she said.
Merck's plant is about 35 miles (56km) from the nuclear plant, she noted -- outside the Japanese government's 12-mile evacuation zone.
Merck, of Darmstadt, has seven plants in Japan, but the damaged factory in Onahama is the only plant worldwide making its Xirallic metallic pigment.