Single-sourcing risks highlighted after Japan earthquake
COLOGNE, Germany -- Japan's earthquake and tsunami highlighted the risk of sourcing key components from a single supplier but lessons are being learned, Mark Adams, Toyota's purchasing chief for Europe, said.
The March 11 disasters revealed a dependence on Tier 3 and Tier 4 suppliers that was not previously well appreciated, Adams told the Automotive News Europe Congress here on Thursday.
The catastrophes led to the closure of Japanese factories supplying key parts such as engine sensors, hitting car production worldwide.
Toyota is looking at its vulnerability to single sourcing and whether action needs to be taken. "We are still in the process of reflecting what the single-source issue means," Adams said.
Continental's Ralf Cramer, who heads the company's chassis and safety division, which accounts for 80 percent of the supplier's total sales in Japan, said it should be a goal of companies to replace single sourcing, but this was not always practical because of geographical reasons and technological needs.
Honeywell Transportation Systems CEO Alex Ismail said the Japan disasters had not been a big issue for companies like his where most components were double sourced.