March 26, 2011 in Business

Car makers restrict colors over supply from Japan

Greg Gardner Detroit Free Press
 

DETROIT – Chrysler on Friday became the second Detroit automaker to restrict dealers from ordering certain colors due to a “potential” pigment shortage that is related to slow recovery of certain suppliers in Japan.

Ford told dealers Thursday to stop taking orders for any vehicles painted tuxedo black and warned that a shortage of pigments tied to supplier issues in Japan may limit production of certain models in three shades of red.

In a memo sent Friday, Steve Beahm, Chrysler vice president of U.S. sales operations, told dealers the company will restrict ordering of the following vehicle colors: brilliant black, blackberry, deep cherry red, redline, inferno, bronze star, rugged brown, hunter green, ivory and billet metallic.

“Please submit any outstanding orders by the close of business March 28 so that we may work towards prioritizing these special orders,” the memo read.

Earlier this week, Toyota said it would not build vehicles on selected days at some of its U.S. and Canadian plants due to uncertain availability of parts from Japan.

Production of microcontrollers and small rubber and plastic parts has been reduced due to damage from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami off the northeast coast of Japan. Ongoing problems at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant have led to release of radiation and forced utilities to severely limit the availability of electricity to much of the northern part of Japan.


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